Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars are a professional ice hockey team based in Dallas, Texas. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team was founded during the 1967 NHL expansion as the Minnesota North Stars, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. Before the beginning of the 1978–79 NHL season, the team merged with the Cleveland Barons after the league granted them permission due to each team's respective financial struggles. Ultimately, the franchise relocated to Dallas for the 1993–94 NHL season. The Stars played out of Reunion Arena from their relocation until 2001, when the team moved less than 1.5 miles into the American Airlines Center.

Dallas, a modern metropolis in north Texas, is a commercial and cultural hub of the region. Downtown’s Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza commemorates the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. In the Arts District, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Crow Collection of Asian Art cover thousands of years of art. The sleek Nasher Sculpture Center showcases contemporary sculpture. Dallas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. From 2010 to 2016, Dallas recorded the highest net domestic migration in the country, in excess of 300,000.

The Dallas Stars hockey team have won eight division titles in Dallas, two Presidents' Trophies as the top regular season team in the NHL, the Western Conference championship twice, and in 1998–99, the Stanley Cup. Joe Nieuwendyk won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs that year. In 2000, Neal Broten was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2009, Brett Hull became the first Dallas Stars player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, followed by Ed Belfour and Joe Nieuwendyk in 2011 and Mike Modano in 2014. In 2010, brothers Derian and Kevin Hatcher were inducted to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Dallas Stars actually came from the Minnesota North Stars who began play in 1967 as part of the NHL's six-team expansion. Home games were played at the newly constructed Metropolitan Sports Center ("Met Center") in Bloomington, Minnesota. Initially successful both on the ice and at the gate, the North Stars fell victim to financial problems after several poor seasons in the mid-1970s. The franchise was moved to Dallas in 1993, maintaining the Stars identity as opposed to rebranding. In 1978, the North Stars were purchased by the owners of the Cleveland Barons (formerly the California Golden Seals), the Gund brothers, George III and Gordon. With both teams on the verge of folding, the NHL permitted the two failing franchises to merge. The merged team continued as the Minnesota North Stars, but assumed the Barons' place in the Adams Division in order to balance out the divisions, while the Seals/Barons franchise records were retired. The merger brought with it a number of talented players, and the North Stars were revived they reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1981, where they lost in five games to the New York Islanders.

In the 1998 off-season, after falling just short in the Western Conference Finals, the Stars added what they believed was the final piece toward winning a championship: star goal scoring winger Brett Hull. Hull had already had a magnificent career with the St. Louis Blues, with three consecutive 70-goal seasons and a Hart Memorial Trophy, but a fallout with Blues management led Hull to leave St. Louis via free agency. Additionally, this was the first season for the Stars in the Pacific Division after the 1998 NHL division realignment.

The Dallas Stars 1998–99 season was excellent. The Stars won 51 games, surpassing the 50-win mark for the first time in franchise history. They also recorded 114 points, which still stands today as a franchise record. They won the Pacific Division by 24 points, their third consecutive division title; a second consecutive Presidents' Trophy; the Jennings Trophy as the league's top defensive team; and were awarded the top seed in the 1999 Stanley Cup playoffs. Winger Jere Lehtinen was also awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy.

As the 2018-19 season approaches, the Dallas Stars’ most crucial offseason necessity remains unchanged: extending the contract of Tyler Seguin. As the days pass without news of an extension from the Dallas Stars, the rumor mill continues to turn. It’s well-known the Dallas Stars are adamant about signing their number-one center to a long-term contract, but at this point in the offseason, no deal has been reached. The Stars have struggled over the last two seasons, missing the playoffs both years; however, it has little to do with the talent on the ice. Sure, they’ve underachieved during this time. With that being said, he’s arguably one of the top five centers in the game right now. His talents seem endless and at the current age of 26, he’s got a lot of hockey left to play. And that’s why July 1, 2018 was such a big day for Seguin and the Dallas Stars organization. It was the first day that he could sign an extension with the team and kicked off the final year of his current contract that pays him $5.75 million per season. His extension is expected to be at least seven years long and carry a minimum AAV of $9.5 million.

First and foremost, there will be a lot of pressure on the team. Success is a key in attracting followers, and Tyler Seguin is no different. If the Dallas Stars can get back into the postseason and make a decent run while brightening their future, that could be a major key in convincing Seguin to stick around. But if the Stars once again hit a bump and miss the playoffs, that might be a sign for him to leave while he can.

The Stars domination of the Pacific Division illustrates this point. Outside of the Vegas Golden Knights, the Central had arguably six of the seven best teams in the Western Conference. The Stars did their part against the Pacific, posting a 15-9-0 record. The team has qualified for the playoffs in just one of the past four seasons. Though it always looks like the pieces are there, something ends up going wrong. That’s not easy for an elite player entering his prime to digest, especially when he already knows what it’s like to win a Stanley Cup. Dallas continues to forge ahead, though, making moves in hopes of returning to the postseason soon in a jam-packed Western Conference.

When the Stars take the ice at the beginning of each game, the song "Puck Off" (also referred to as the "Dallas Stars Fight Song") by Pantera, is played in the arena. Members of the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area band had become friends with members of the Stars in the 1990s, especially following the team's Stanley Cup win in 1999. Let's see what happens with the Stars this season and if their star player, if signed, can take them to another NHL Championship.