Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ten Things to look forward for the next decade for the Dallas Stars

Usually at the end of the decade, you look back and find out the best, the worst and maybe a few unusual things to look back on. But for Dallas Stars Broadcaster Ralph Strangis, he wants to look ahead for the Stars org. and for Ice Hockey in General in the D/FW Area.

From The Dallas Stars website:

10. Ralph and Razor

Yes this is a bit self serving, but we're going to be here for a while yet to celebrate the great moments with you and help hold your hands through the growing pains. Razor and I have been great together since the start of the 96-97 season (and I should mention most of our fine crew has been around just as long) and have had a terrific time watching it all happen with you. Yes, at least in my case, the hair has thinned, and our brains go flaccid from time to time, but gang, we're all you got-so continue to enjoy what we like to call broadcast magic.

9. Ceremony & Celebration

Mike Modano is nearing the end, but we'll throw a party like you've never seen when he gets going with the next phase of his life. The Org. has created the "Walk of Legends" and we'll be enshrining more of your favorite Stars with great pomp and circumstance

8. The NHL's Continuing Evoultion

Giving credit where it's due, the NHL has done a good job since the lockout making the on ice product more fan friendly. Hey shoutouts are fun (unless your the 2009-2010 Dallas Stars). and the games have opened up a bit. Scoring is up- the new crop of superstars are terrific-and the Winter Classic is a hit, and not just with hockey fans. Yes they have work to do, but the league has shown progress, and thats a very good sign.

7. The Texas Stars

The Dallas Stars have gone from having no AHL afflaite in the 2008-2009 season to having arguably the best situation to develop and evaluate talent. Their operations and facilities are first rate. And to be able to have everyone playing the same system, and with call ups a short drive away, the Stars are poised to keep reloading at both the NHL & AHL Levels.

6. Metroplex Hockey & Texas Hockey Stars

If you had told me 20 years ago that I would be coming with the North Stars down to Dallas, and that the Stars would help build the area into a thriving Hockey Community I would have thought that you would have taken too many pucks to the head. But here we are. Thousands of kids and adults play the sport, mostly at the Dr. Pepper Star's centers and our kids are competing with the best in North America. Soon more of them will be drafted into the NHL-and perhaps-they will be a superstar or two among the group.

5. Ownership

The Dallas Stars have stayed competitive largely due to the commitment of Tom Hicks. Over the years he has always said OK when the Stars were trying to get to the next level. The Stars, under Tom Hicks are still the most recent Metroplex Pro Sports Team to win a major Championship-and will put our record up against anyone locally since Mr. Hicks has been at the wheel. Yes were having some rough financial times right now-but I believe things will get sorted out-and the Stars will soon be able to add an already young, strong and emerging core group of players.

4. Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen

The two old dogs can still dial it up. Yes-not as often-but there are nights when the magic is still their. To have two guys like that helping show the younger players what is supposed to look like is an advantage that not everyone else has. Many of the Stars current kids idolized one-or the other-or both growing up. Now they get to watch them everyday. And so do we, And i'm thrilled that we'll open the new decade with both Mike Modano & Jere Lehtinen. Gang, Just enjoy it every night while it's still their.

3. Strong Veteran Assets

The Stars have several players in the prime of their career like Brad Richards, Stephane Robidas, Brendan Morrow, Mike Ribeiro and Steve Ott. Their depth up front is a real strength and has already proved difficult for opponents to handle.

2. Strong Youngsters

I haven't been this excited about a group of young Stars-well-ever. Loui Eriksson is a real great player, James Neal is the "Real Deal". How about 20 year old Jamie Been? He's 20 for crying out loud and on a lot of nights he looks like the best player on the ice. Throw Tom Wandall, Nick Grossman, Mark Fistric and a couple of more names you're just learning about or don't know yet-and it's going to be a fun ride.

1. Joe Nieuwendyk

He is one of the best people that Ralph Strangis knows. and he's proud to call him my friend. He's smart, thoutful, sincere and deliberate, and with 3 rings from 3 different teams in 3 different decades, it's a pretty good bet that a fourth is around the corner. Be excited Stars fans-and be patient as well. It took Bob Gainey 9 years from the day he was hired to build a champion. I bet on him back then to be a success (The Cup was a wonderful bonus)-and I'll bet on Joe now to give you a team that is worth getting behind right now.

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