Friday, June 19, 2009
It was late into the night during the third overtime of Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals when Brett Hull controversially scored the cup winning goal giving the Dallas Stars a 2-1 victory and their first championship, 4 games to 2 over the Buffalo Sabres.
Dallas cruised to the Pacific Division title by 24 points and the President's Trophy, led by Mike Modano, who had the most goals (34), not an easy thing to do when one of your teammates is Brett Hull, most assists (47) and obviously points with 81. The team was backstopped by Ed Belfour who had 35 wins and a 1.99 goals against average. Other key members of the team were Joe Nieuwendyk, Jere Lehtinen, Jamie Langenbrunner, Pat Verbeek and defensemen Sergei Zubov, Darryl Sydor and Darian Hatcher.
They defeated the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs in four straight before taking six games to eliminate the St. Louis Blues.
Next up was the Colorado Avalanche, a series that went the full seven games. The teams spilt the first two games in Dallas and then again in Colorado. The Avalanche took game 5 in Dallas, putting the Stars on the brink, but Dallas was able to win Games 5 & 6 by identical 4-1 scores to advance to the finals versus the Sabres, who were led by goaltender Dominik Hasek.
Again, the teams spilt the first two games in Dallas and again in Buffalo, with Dallas taking Games 5 & 6 to clinch the cup. Despite Mike Modano leading the team in playoff scoring, it was Joe Nieuwendyk who was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, aided by his record tying six game winning goals.
Nieuwendyk holds an interesting position of winning the Stanley Cup three times, in three different decades on three different teams. He won in Calgary in 1989, Dallas in 1999 and New Jersey in 2003. In addition he also won an Olympic Gold Medal with Team Canada in 2002. He won the Calder Trophy when he scored a career high 51 goals in the 1987-88 season, a goal total he would again match the following season. He finished his 20 year career with 564 goals and 562 assists for 1126 points and appeared in four All-Star Games.
Today's featured jersey is a Starter 1998-99 Dallas Stars Joe Nieuwendyk jersey as worn when he was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner. As such, it features the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals patch worn by both teams during the finals.
One must remember that this jersey was originally introduced as the Stars third jersey in the 1997-98 season and they chose to wear it instead of their usual road black jersey during the playoffs in 1999. The following year it was made the permanent road jersey and a white version was introduced as the new home jersey, one of several instances in the NHL when a popular alternate jersey graduated to become a primary jersey.
One nice thing about the Starter Dallas Stars jerseys is that the team logo is embroidered directly into the jersey and is not a patch which is then glued onto the front of the jersey like the CCM's were. We think it's a much cleaner look for this style.
The design was based on the NHL All-Star Game jerseys used from 1994 to 1997, only with the continuation of the star shape on the back as well as the front.
Personally, we can't remember ever having such a positive reaction to seeing a new jersey for the first time. While not being a fan of the color green in general, we really think this striking design in it's dark green, white, gold and black is one of our all time favorites, and trust us, it was not easy for a die-hard Minnesota North Stars fan to embrace anything to do with the Dallas Stars at the time.