Ed Sarno The Hockey Writers
Which Former Player do Dallas Stars Fans Want to Win the Cup?
As the final four teams battle it out for a chance to play in the Stanley Cup finals, it’s become clear, a former member of the Dallas Stars will get to hoist the Cup. Not just any former player, but potentially a former fan favorite. Which of these names do you want to see on the Cup?
Pittsburgh Defenseman Trevor Daley
Daley is the most recent Star of the bunch. Dallas traded Daley and Ryan Garbutt last summer to Chicago for Patrick Sharp and Stephen Johns. As THW’s David Tews reported recently, it was a one-sided trade for the Stars. Meanwhile, Daley now finds himself in a deep playoff run with Pittsburgh.
Chicago ended up moving Daley to Pittsburgh via trade in December. Daley, 32, is playing top-four minutes on arguably the hottest team left in the playoffs. The Penguins fast paced skating game seems to fit nicely with Daley who has always been a great skater.
Daley’s doesn’t have the high-end skills of a top-tier offensive defenseman, and isn’t great defensively, but the former alternate captain of the Stars has always been respected by teammates. Daley was also popular with the fans. He played 11 seasons with Dallas.
Daley was injured during Game 4 against Tampa Bay Friday night. He has a lower body injury.
St. Louis Forward Steve Ott
For those new to Stars fandom, Ott was Antoine Roussel before Roussel. A fearless agitator, Ott had his best years in Dallas. He played nine seasons with Dallas.
Ott, 33, has battled injuries this season and hasn’t been a big factor in the Blues playoff run so far. Last month THW’s Dustin L. Nelson reported the Blues announced Ott has been diagnosed with Colitis, an inflammation of the lining of the colon.
He plays the game close to the edge. Since the Blues can’t afford to take unnecessary penalties coach Ken Hitchcock (another former Star) has elected to scratch Ott multiple times in this year’s playoffs.
San Jose Defenseman Brenden Dillon
Dillon surprised many so-called experts when he broke into the NHL as an undrafted free agent. After a successful Canadian junior career, Dillon spent 2011-12 with the Texas Stars in the AHL. He split 2012-13 between Texas and Dallas. In 2013-14 Dillon played 80 games with Dallas. He had 17 points (6g, 11a) and 86 pims to go along with a + 9 plus-minus rating.
The Dallas Stars traded Dillon to the Sharks for veteran defenseman Jason Demers in 2014. The jury is still out on this trade but it seems to have benefited both teams. The Stars were looking to balance out their right-handed/left-handed pairings which made Dillon expendable.
Dillon, 25, has good size (6’3, 210) and plays mostly a defensive style of play. Dillon has teamed with Roman Polak to form a solid, rugged third pair on the Sharks’ defense. Of defensemen in the West, Dillon trails only Polak and Shea Weber in playoff hits with 44.
Tampa Bay Assistant GM Pat Verbeek Dallas Stars Cup Team
Verbeek is the only one of the four who already has his name on the Cup. Longtime Dallas Stars fans remember Verbeek from the Stars 1999 Cup winning team. He is also the only retired hockey player in this article (Tampa Bay didn’t have any other Dallas connections).
Arguably the most underappreciated 500+ goal scorer in NHL history. Pat Verbeek’s game was a combination of Ott/Roussel with a Jason Spezza like scoring ability. The original “Little Ball of Hate” started his 522 goal career with New Jersey and played for Hartford and the New York Rangers briefly before signing as a free agent with Dallas in 1996-97. After winning the Cup, He left for Detroit where he played with current Tampa Bay General Manager Steve Yzerman. Verbeek would return to Dallas for his final NHL season in 2001-02.
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