The Dallas Stars have had a healthy reputation of holding the contracts of some of the leagues best players since their Stanley Cup victory in 1999. They have had some quality Hall-of-Famers come through their program to help achieve that lonely Stanley Cup. When I think of the Dallas Stars I think of good goaltending and a high-powered offense and that’s what they had in '99 and still do right now. Currently, the Dallas Stars have been a legitimate threat to get to the Stanley Cup final, the only thing is they have had to go through the talented St. Louis Blues last year when they looked to be headed to the Stanley Cup final.
Although, the Dallas Stars have been relevant before and are currently doesn’t mean they have not had their share of really bad players. Going five straight years of not seeing the playoffs (2009-2013) had a correlation with some of the players they had on their roster. Unfortunately, if you are a Stars fan, there was some god awful players to step on the ice wearing the Dallas Star on their chest during those five years of not seeing the extra season. Luckily, the upper management did an above average job on getting very solid players to come to Dallas and now are very much a threat in the Western Conference and some of the players on todays roster are going to make my list. Without mentioning any names right now lets get into this countdown of the 10 best and worst players since the Stanley Cup Championship team in 1999.
20 Best: Jere Lehtinen
The three-time Selke winner had a much respected career in the NHL, spending his 14 year career all with Dallas. Lehtinen, the natural right winger, had a strong impact on the organization from the start, tallying up 28 points in his rookie showing and playing at a respectable plus five rating.
The two-way Finnish forward developed to one of the best two-way forwards in the league by his sophomore season. Quickly, he began to point up points to resemble your typical second liner. Out of his 14 year career in the NHL, eight of those seasons he recorded 40 or more points and only played at a minus rating his last year in the league (only -8).
Lehtinen doesn’t get nearly the face time he probably should, considering he has won a Stanley Cup. The best way to describe Lehtinen is consistent. With 875 games played he had close to the same amount of goals as he did assists (243 G, 271 A) and he finished his career sitting a at comfy +176. The Stanley Cup Winner, three-time Selke winner, All-Star flew under the radar, but made an unforgettable impact with the Dallas Stars.
19 Worst: Sheldon Souray
Yes, I know what you are thinking. Shelon Souray?!? The three time All-Star?! Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Sheldon Souray was a great in Montreal and I understand that. He had a couple 20-goal seasons as a defenseman, thats great, honestly. But, the Dallas Stars acquired him in hopes he was going to have another 20 goal season or even a 15 goal season and he was far from that.
Souray was at the end of his career when the Dallas Stars got him and they were hoping he had some bingos left in him. He only had six and two of them were on the Power Play, in his one season with the Stars. The Stars quickly realized that he was no longer the player he once was and got rid of him. He went on to play one last season with the Anaheim Ducks in 2012-2013.
18 Best: Derian Hatcher
Derian Hatcher was a flat out monster. There were very few guys in the league that would want to go toe-to-toe with this guy and the guys that did, usually had a couple stains on their jerseys. Standing at 6-5 and weighing in at 235lbs, Hatcher was a noticeable force when he was out there, even if you were sitting in row 19 of the upper bowl, he stuck out in a big way.
Just because Hatcher wasn’t the one to score a highlight real goal doesn’t mean he wasn’t an impact player. Impact should be his middle name because he brought the game some of the best hits and fights. Opponents were scared when they saw Dallas on their schedule.
Hatcher made his presence felt with his penalty minuets, racking up 1581 minuets in his 1045 game NHL career. That adds up to over a day spent in the penalty box. But just because he spent a whole day in the box doesn’t mean it went to waste. Enforcers in the game of hockey were more relevant and made a larger impact on the game in the '90s and early 2000s.
Although Hatcher was known to be in the box a lot and was considered an enforcer he was actually responsible defensively. He finished his career with plus 74 rating and only 331 points. .
17 Worst: Jake Dowell
Jake Dowell is next in line for the worst Dallas Stars since 1999. The 31 one year old from Wisconsin has spent the majority of his professional career in the American Hockey League. He did make his NHL debut in 2007-2008 with the Chicago Blackhawks, but only for a brief 19 games.
Dowell went on to sign a contract with the Dallas Stars in the 2011-2012 season for $800,000. Not a bad amount of compensation for only putting in 52 games of work for the Stars that season. Dowell didn’t make an impact and only contributed 7 points all season. The following season he would be moved down to the Huston Aeros.
16 Best: Sergei Zubov
The 6-5 offensive defenseman from Russia was an absolute thrill to watch. He is one of the best offensive defenseman that the game has ever seen and you can bet that he played a major role in winning the Stanley Cup for the Dallas Stars in 1999.
Zubov didn’t just win the Stanley Cup with Dallas in '99, but he also won it in just his second year in the NHL in 1994 with the New York Rangers. With the Rangers he immediately made an impact to contributing offensively and breaking into the league seemed rather easy for him, maybe due because while in Russia he was playing for the Red Army.
Throughout his 16 year NHL career he produced a total of 771 points in 1068 games with a rating of plus 148. Zubov was a consistent player and produced offense even later into his career. The only thing reciting about him was his hairline.
15 Worst: Stephan Johns
The 6-4 bluelliner comes with good skill and a lot of promise to one day be a steady NHL defenseman. As of now, with all the accolades Johns has received and the important teams he has been apart of, such as the USA World Junior team, he hasn’t lived up to his potential.
Drafted 60th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks Johns was positioned for a bright future. However, it’s not over for him yet since he is only 24 years old. For now he remains unproductive, only putting up 11 points in 55 games played with a -10 rating for the Dallas Stars. If he could figure out how to play with a plus rating he wouldn't be on this list.
14 Best: Brenden Morrow
Drafted 25th overall by the Dallas Stars the organization had high hopes for the young gun and he delivered. Appearing in 835 games for the Stars the left winger had respectable offensive power. Ranking eigth in all time Dallas Stars goal scoring, Brenden Morrow proved to be a steady offensive threat for the Stars.
Morrow was not your typical scorer. If Morrow didn’t find the score sheet by scoring a goal or setting up one of his teammates, it was almost guaranteed that he found the score sheet by racking up some penalty minuets. He played with a special grit that is hard to find nowadays and ended up with 1203 PIM and that ranks 4th all time for Stars players (oh, Hatcher is third all time).
Because Morrow played with such an edge, he did have some setbacks because of injuries. He only appeared in 18 games in the 2008-2009 season and always seemed to be battling an injury. Despite being banged up, Morrow always had the nose for scoring big time goals and because of it was granted a spot on Canada’s 2010 Olympic team that win on to win the gold metal that year.
13 Worst: Brian Sutherby
Brian Sutherby seemed to be bothered by injuries his whole professional career. With high hopes of Sutherby the Washington Capitals drafted him in the 1st round and 26th overall. He played the majority of his career with the Washington Capitals, then playing with the Anaheim Ducks because of being traded and then finally signing with the Dallas Stars.
Unfortunately for the Stars they acquired Sutherby at the end of his career where he was even more irrelevant than when he was in his “prime.” With only scoring 90 points in the NHL in 460 games Sutherby wasn’t much of a treat to anyone. Playing in 139 games for the Stars, Sutherby spent most of his time riding pine and cheering on his teammates.
12 Best: Tyler Segiun
The 25 year old that was acquired from the Boston Bruins has already made a large impact on the Stars organization. Seguin has tremendous skill and has a real talent for goal scoring. In fact, he is already sitting at 20th all time for goals (128 and counting) in the Stars franchise with a slim 280+ games played, as a Star.
For arguably not even being in his prime yet, Seguin has some individual accolades that sometimes are forgotten. Seguin is a four time All Star, a Stanley Cup Champion with the Boston Bruins, and had a plus 34 rating in the 2011-2012 season, that ranked second best in the NHL that year.
At such a young age Segiun has a promising future to break some of the records some of the great players have set before him. By the time he reaches the end of his career he could be sitting in the number two spot for all time goals scored as a Star, behind the great Mike Modano.
11 Worst: Joel Lundqvist
Joel Lundqvist, the identical twin brother of the New York Rangers All-Star Goalie Henirk Lundqvist lives under his brother’s spotlight. Obviously he was good enough to make it to the NHL so its really not that bad, but unfortunately he makes my list of the worst Dallas Star players since 1999. Dallas drafted Lundqvist in 2000 in the third round, but decided to play in the Swedish Elite League in his home country.
He came the NHL in the 2006-2007 season where he played 36 games and only had six points to show for. Lundqvist never played a full 82 game season with the three years that he was with the Dallas Stars. He totaled 134 games and 26 points with the Dallas Stars with a minus 17 rating. His NHL career ended in 2008 where he decided to return to his home country where he has had more success.
10 Best: Jamie Benn
The 6-2 power forward with incredible amount of skill, provides a player that all teams dream of. The guy can flat out beat you up, get out of the penalty box after serving the five minute major and burry the game winner in highlight reel fashion.
Jamie Benn has established himself as an elite player in the NHL in his eight seasons as Star, not to mention he sticks out because of his tape job on his stick (am I the only one?). His numbers are definitely something to take notice of too. Posting 501 points in 562 games played in his career (and counting).
Ranking 11th in Stars history in points, Benn is on track to be in the top three with only being 27 years old. I have a feeling that he is there to stay because of the leadership role he plays, so Dallas fans get comfortable with your captain if you’re not already.
9 Worst: Manny Malhotra
Manny Malhotra was a high caliber prospect, with high hopes of being a stud in the NHL. So much so that he was drafted seventh overall in the 1998 Entry Draft by the New York Rangers. The 6-2 centerman had a disappointing career for his potential. Only gathering 295 points in just shy of 1000 career games played. The Dallas Stars rostered Malhotra in a time where he needed a fresh start, which can really change a player’s career for the better. He was still young and had potential, but Malhotra’sperformance didn’t change. He was still under producing for his hopes and only netted 11 points in 84 games as a Dallas Star.
Malhotra was one of the league suitcases and played for over half a dozen teams in the NHL. He retired at the end of the 2015 season while playing for Montreal and landed an assistant coaching job for the Vancouver Canucks.
8 Best: Ed Belfour
Ed Belfour should be no shocker here. The Hall of Famer, six time All Star, 1999 Stanley Cup Winner, two time Vezina winner, and four time Jennings winner sure has some accolades to catch dust in his trophy room.
Belfour was an incredible addition the Stanley Cup team in 1999. Behind the high-powered offense and the steady and productive defense, Belfour was a stonewall in 1999 and had the leagues best goal scorers questioning themselves on their true talent. He posted an incredible 1.99 goals against average in 1999, which helped his team reach the pinnacle of the hockey world.
Although Belfour is most known for his career with the Chicago Blackhawks, he will forever hold a spot in Dallas because of his heroics to bring the cup to Dallas for the first and only time (as of now).
7 Worst: John Erskine
Drafted by the Stars in 1998, John Erskine made Dallas his home for four season. He played in limited games throughout his stay in Dallas and never played a full season until the 2010-2011 season with the Washington Capitals.
The story of Erskine's career was either being a healthy scratch or acting as a grocery stick whenever he did get the opportunity to actually put on his gear. With 491 games played and only 15 goals and 54 points I think Erskine well deserves this glorious spot in this list. My only guess is that Erskine must have been a great guy to have in the locker room.
6 Best: Marty Turco
The nine seasons Marty Turco put together for the Dallas Stars were outstanding. He finished those years with the Stars with a .911 save percentage and only allowing a 2.31 goals against average. His great play resulted in holding the most wins for Stars goalies with 262 wins. He also has started in more games than any other goaltender for the organization with 509 starts.
Turco was a great puck handling goalie as well. Throughout his stay with the Dallas Stars he had a solid 22 assists as a goalie. Perhaps the most staggering statistic is the amount of shutouts he had. He has 13 more shutouts than the great Ed Belfour and leads any other Star with a total of 40 shutouts.
The Hall of Fame goaltender is the best goalie to ever put the Star on his chest.
5 Worst: Patrik Nemeth
Selected 41st overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Patrik Nemeth was another prospect with high hopes. He was a member of the Sweden Junior National Team where he played in the 2012 World Junior Championship and won the gold medal. The pick is promising, but is not playing out the way Dallas had pictured it.
At 6-3 and 212lbs Nemeth has the size to compete at the NHL level, but is having trouble being a playmaker with only 13 points, all being assists, in his young career. He is also playing a minus 9 rating which isn’t helping his likability around the Dallas Stars fan base.
4 Best: Brett Hull
Playing a the great majority of his career with St. Louis, Brett Hull decided to leave the Blues and chase the Stanley Cup with another team who didn’t have a Stanley Cup banner in their building. Well we know what happens next, Hull went on to win the Stanley Cup and score the controversial goal to win the Cup against the great Domink Hasek, where they both would join forces in Detroit to win a Stanley Cup as teammates in 2002.
Hull played close to a point per game player as a Dallas Star with 196 points in 218 games. He played his career at over a point per game with 1391 points in 1269 games played. Hull made a living out of scoring goals and he did it a lot with one knee touching the ice. Hull was also extremely durable player where his last full season with Detroit he played 81 games.
Hull will be mostly known for his 11 years with the Blues, but the Stanley Cups he won with both Dallas and Detroit are perhaps his most cherished accomplishments.
3 Worst: Aaron Downey
Aaron Downey made popularity on the Dallas Stars with his fight with Jesse Boulerice where he one-punched Boulerice in possibly the most untraditional hockey fight in NHL history. It merely looked like a boxing match with skates on. Boulerice swung, Downey dodged and then landed a bomb right on the button to knock out Boulerice (YouTube it, very impressive). Downey had a reputation for being the tough guy and having brick hands. Those brick hands may have helped him in fights, but they handicapped him when the puck landed on his stick.
With Dallas he appeared in 80 games over two seasons and only tallied four points. Even worse he averaged around five minutes of playing time in those 80 games and he managed to pick up 82 penalty minuets. He definitely embraced his “goon” role by having a career 494 penalty minuets while only having 243 games on his record and averaging a career ice time of just under five minutes per game. I almost find that rather impressive.
2 Best: Mike Modano
The greatest American hockey player of all time, Mike Modano is with out a doubt the best player to play for the Dallas Stars and the Minnesota North Stars for a matter of fact. Between the organization and the move down to Dallas, Modano played in 1459 games and had 1359 points which ranks him 23 all-time in points in the NHL. Modano hold most of the Stars major scoring titles, including all-time goals and points leader.
Modano was the center of attention and the player who deserves the most credit to building the championship team of 1999. For the player he was and for the 21 years he spent in the NHL winning that year was well deserved for Modano.
1 Worst: Sami Helenius
Sami Helenius is a monster, standing at 6-6 and weighing in at a lean 230lbs. With that wrestling introduction I might as well toss in that his doppelgänger is Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Anyway, Helenius spent a lot of his time traveling between the NHL, AHL and IHL. When he got to Dallas in 2000 the only way he was noticed was because of his physical size during warm ups because he didn’t actually see a lot of ice time during games. The times he did touch the ice his gloves came off fairly fast into his shit. For a Finnish player he sure was a tough guy.
With Dallas he quickly became friends with the scorekeeper while he spent 163 minuets in the box in a short 101 games. Helenius clearly was brought into fight and only to fight. His talents were non-existent offensively where he only contributed a slender three points in those 101 games as a Star.
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