Thirteen years ago today, the Dallas Stars etched their names into hockey history by winning their first (and to date, only) Stanley Cup in franchise history. Much has been made about the "goal" that seemingly hockey purists believe should have been waived off because Stars forward, Brett Hull had his skate in the crease before he shot the puck in triple overtime. Despite the experts and analysts all confirming that the goal should stand, Brett from time to time indicates he's receiving chirps from those in the Buffalo area.
However, that magic day has done so much more than constitute a re-wording of the rule book. It opened the door to young men and women in the state of Texas to pick up the game of hockey. In fact, Stefan Noesen was taken 21st by the Ottawa Senators in last year's entry draft. For the home town Stars, Dallas native Austin Smith stands to not only be just the first Dallas native to play for the local NHL club, but the first Texan.
Dallas is known as a football town and it probably always will, but make no doubt about it, the Lone Star State is starting to make an imprint in hockey. With the likes of Justin Greenberg and Hunter Leisner from the Robertson Cup-winning Texas Tornado of the NAHL, more and more kids are leaving the gridiron for center ice.