An Unconventional Playoff Season Led Dallas Stars to Fight for Lord Stanley's Cup
The year 2020 might be a lot of things, but it was the year that broke the nearly two decade long Stanley Cup drought for the Dallas Stars.
The Minnesota North Stars made a new home in Dallas at Reunion Arena in 1993, bringing NHL hockey to football country. The team found an enthusiastic fan base, and just five years later, the team brought the Stanley Cup home to North Texas.
In the following 21 years, the team saw some roster changes, a new home at the American Airlines Center and the hockey lock-out season, as well as three conference championships, two President's Cups and eight division championships.
But the Stanley Cup remained just out of reach.
Enter the 2019-2020 season. The season started like any other, and was made remarkable by North Texas being home to the Bridestone Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day with 83,000 fans on hand to witness the Stars dominate the Nashville Predators.
COVID-19 shut down the season just two and a half months later, with a 24-team playoff kicking off in Canada in the summer. All the players and coaching staff entered a "bubble" in July, a tightly controlled environment to protect against the coronavirus.
The Stars were the underdog from the outset, but the team fought through injuries, amazing comebacks and sudden death overtimes to make it to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 21 years.
Sadly, the Tampa Bay Lightning prevailed, but the North Texas community is incredibly proud of the team. It's only a matter of time before the Cup is back in Texas.
A Few Fun Facts:
The Dallas Stars' goal-celebrating song was written and performed by local band, Pantera.
The Dallas Stars brought hockey culture to even the smallest players, launching a thriving junior hockey community, and even cultivating the first Texas born and raised player to win the Stanley Cup - Blake Coleman of the Tampa Bay Lightning.