The Dallas Stars will honor Stu Barnes Sunday evening as they play the Los Angeles Kings. Stu Barnes spent 5 seasons as a player with the Dallas Stars, he also was an assistant coach for the Stars for three years and he is currently the Hockey Operations Consultant for the team. Barnes is part owner of the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League, along with former teammate Olaf Kolzig, both had played for Tri-City which is located in Kennewick, Washington.
Drafted fourth overall in the first round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, Barnes would play two seasons for the Jets before being traded to the Florida Panthers in 1994. While with the Panthers, Stu got his first chance at a Stanley Cup as they would face the Colorado Avalanche in the 1996. However the Avalanche proved to be too much as they would sweep the Florida Panthers in four games. Stu would then be traded along with Panther teammate Jason Woolley to the Pittsburg Penguins for Chris Wells. This trade was considered by many as the worst trade in Florida Panthers history.
Stu Barnes now with the Pittsburg Penguins, started to master the art of playing center in the NHL, becoming almost unbeatable in the face-off circle nearly every game. Stu Barnes would have his career year with the Penguins in the 1997-98 campaign scoring 30 goals, notching 35 assists, and would finish a +15 in plus/minus for the year. Barnes would be dealt once again, this time to the Buffalo Sabres, sending tough guy Matthew Barnaby to the Pittsburg Penguins the spring of 1999.
Barnes began to evolve into one of the best center's in the NHL, not only on the face-off dot, but also contributing on the power play and penalty kill. Stu would help lead the Sabres to the Stanley Cup finials in his first year with the team. But Buffalo would lose to the Dallas Stars in an incredible game with Brett Hull scoring the triple overtime-game goal giving the Stars their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
With Stu Barnes' great leadership skills he would serve as the captain of the Buffalo Sabres from 2001-2003. Barnes would be traded to the Dallas Stars in 2003 for Michael Ryan (currently in the Finnish Elite League) and a second round draft pick in 03' NHL Draft. Barnes would finish his career with the Stars, and would be an alternate captain in 06' and again in 08' with Dallas. In the summer of 2008, at the age of 37 Stu Barnes would retire from the NHL, Barnes had 597 career NHL points, 261 goals, 336 assists in 1,136 NHL games, not including his post season appearances. Any time Stu Barnes touched the puck you could tell he was on the ice with a loud "Stu" chant was heard from the home town fans. The video below is a nice little tribute to one of the best centers to play the game without winning a Stanley Cup.