Jump to content

Minnesota North Stars - MVRP


Most Valuable Retired Minnesota North Stars  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Please vote for 5 of your favorite Minnesota North Stars

    • Cesare Maniago
    • Bill Goldsworthy
    • Lou Nanne
    • Danny Grant
    • J. P. Parise
    • Brad Maxwell
    • Brian Bellows
    • Craig Hartsburg
    • Bobby Smith
    • Neal Broten
    • Dino Ciccarelli
    • Jon Casey

Recommended Posts

History of the North Stars




October 21, 1967 - Workers were still putting seats into the new 15,000 seat capacity “Metropolitan Sports Center” located between the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul on the day of the the home opener for the new expansion franchise, Minnesota North Stars.  (ah, so that is where the NHL got the new Division name)   This was a team that could have been named the Blades, Norsemen, Muskies, Lumberjacks, Mallards, Muskies, Puckaroos, or the Voyageurs.  A team that had an ownership who hired Wren Blair, the man who discovered Bobby Orr, as the team's first coach and general manager.  Yes, this was a grand NHL franchise in the “State of Hockey” where no one could have predicted it would all come to an end 26 years later.


As any NHL Franchise there have been moments to cherish and relinquish.  Thirty-eight games into their first season tragedy struck as the helmetless Bill Masterton lay motionless after being checked heavily to the ice.  The North Stars dedicated that season to Bill and with their playoff run made a run  they became the first team to beat an original six team in the playoffs with the goaltending tandem of Maniago and Worley.  After a long 7 game series against the Blues which featured 4 OT games their season was over as they lost game 7 in double OT.  The next season they would finish dead last in the league yet Danny Grant would win the Calder Trophy.

By 1978 there was talk of the team folding as attendance was down and the team had missed the playoffs 5 of the last 6 seasons.  The North Stars were merged with the Cleveland Barons and the Gunds became majority owners.  Lou Nanne was named GM drafting Bobby Smith who also won a Calder Trophy in his rookie season.

On Jan. 7, 1980, Philadelphia came to Minnesota having not lost in 35 games. It is a record that still stands and one that was broken by a 7-1 North Stars victory.  With the addition of Neal Broten and Dino Ciccarelli the North Stars would reach the playoffs each of the next 5 years.  During Broten’s rookie year in 1981 no one gave the Stars a chance against Boston as the North Stars were 0 - 28 in the Garden.  However in the best of 5 series the North Stars won 2 games against Boston to compete for the Stanley Cup against the New York Islanders led by Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, and Dennis Potvin, who would go on to win 4 Cups in a row.

After 1984 the team would have only one more winning season in Minnesota.  Although having a losing season the North Stars made a cinderella run to the Stanley cup Finals in 1991 against Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  They lost the series after taking two of the first three games.

Declining attendance and an inability to secure taxpayer funding for a new revenue-generating arena the Gund brothers seeked to relocate the team to California.  Instead the NHL awarded them the  expansion franchise, San Hose Sharks for the 1991-92 season and the North Stars were sold to Norman Green, … Let the “Norm Sucks” chants begin…  He said “Only an idiot could lose money in on hockey in Minnesota”  The man was known as a carpet-bagging scoundrel, whose intention from day one seemed only to relocate the team.  The North Stars were rewarded with their second Stanley Cup appearance with a new logo change, “Stars” and later a plane ticket to Dallas to begin the 1993 -94 Dallas “Stars” season.  

Vote on 5 of your favorite North Stars.


Cesare Maniago


Cesare Maniago was the very first draft choice of the newly expansion Minnesota North Stars in 1967.  Maniago was tall goaltender at 6’3” who was well seasoned in the minor leagues for the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, and Rangers.  Maniago tended the team to five playoffs during the franchises first six seasons. Leading them shy of the playoff finals in their first season as the Blues won in a game seven double overtime.   Maniago played for nine seasons prior to being traded to Vancouver for Gary Smith.  He played more games and minutes than any other goalie for the North Stars, retiring with 190 wins in 568 games, recording 30 shutouts and a career 3.27 goals against average. Maniago currently resides in Vancouver where he owns a sporting goods store.

Bill Goldsworthy

Bill Goldsworthy began his career with the Boston Bruins in 1964 and was an original member of the Minnesota North Stars. As one of the  league’s emerging stars during the beginning of the NHL Expansion Era, Goldy was undoubtedly the first big talent ever to wear a Norh Star jersey leading all players in the NHL in playoff points in 1967.  Goldswothy was a  team first, good two way player, and was the first to score 250 goals following the 1967 expansion.  In the 1976-77 season Bill scored 48 goals which was a club record for 8 years until broken by Dino Ciccerelli. Goldsworthy captained the North Stars from 1974 -76, was elected five times to the All Star Game, and fans loved his original post goal scoring celebration known as the “Goldie Shuffle”.  Bill would lift one leg, and pump the opposite arm.  Some say he could have achieved more if the talent surrounding him was greater, others say his alcoholism was a factor.  His number 8 jersey was retired on May 15, 1992 one year before the team moved to Dallas  in a memorable ceremony in front of a sold out Met Center.  Goldy died two years later at the age of 51 from AIDS.

Lou Nanne


Lou Nanne was nicknamed “Sweet Lou from the Soo” which originated from his playing days with the Esposito brothers in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario. Nanny played hockey for the University of Minnesota Gophers and while captaining in his senior year he became the first WCHA defenseman ever to lead the league in scoring and was named MVP of the WCHA.  Nanny became a North Star following the 1968 Olympics.  The steady and physical defenseman made shot blocking an art was the only player to have played in the North Star’s first eleven seasons. During the 1971-72 season coach Jack Gordon used Nanny as a right wing he responded with a respectable 49 points.  The following seasons Lou was matched against the opponents top lines and developed into a fine defensive forward.  


Lou played a total of 635 games over eleven seasons and scored 68 goals and 157 assists.  During the 1977-778 season Nanne was asked to take on management duties, he became the first player-coach-general manager the league has ever known.  After merging with the Cleveland Barons and drafting first round pick Bobby Smith, Lou Nanne’s Minnesota North Stars reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time.  Nanny was a part of the North Stars organization from player to manager for 20 years.

Danny Grant

Danny Grant was traded to the North Stars in 1968 providing an immediate impact.  He scored 34 goals and 64 points in his rookie year to win the Caulder Trophy.  The 34 goals became the modern day rookie stat to beat.  He was characterized as a tough left winger who was clever, worked hard and packed a swift, accurate wrist shot.   Grant played with the North Stars for 6 years putting up 142 goals and 353 points before being traded to the Red Wings where he had his best season scoring 87pts alongside Marcel Dionne.


J. P. Parise


Jean-Paul Joseph-Louis "Jeep" Parisé isn’t the player whom is known for his offensive stats, although he did score some timely goals with his linemates Jude Druin and Bill Goldsworthy.  Instead Parise was a gritty little winger who outdueled his opponents digging out pucks in the corners. In six seasons and parts of two others with the North Stars,  Parise was named twice to the all star game and scored 27 goals and 75 points in the 72 -73 season.  After his retirement Parise served as a coach in the North Stars organization.

Parise was probably best known though for his role in the 1972 Summit Series where he almost beheaded an unpopular referee.  He was chosen to the Canadian National team to play on a line to dig out pucks for Wayne Cashman and Phil Esposito.  During game 7 Parise was called for a questionable interference penalty in which he vehemently argued, after being given the 10 minute misconduct penalty, Parise approached the referee with his stick up at shoulder height and made a swing en route to decapitate the unpopular Kompalla.  Parise in complete control stopped just inches shy of contact.  Although Parise was ejected from the game, there were no more questionable calls made against Team Canada that series.


Brad Maxwell

Drafted 7th overall by the North Stars in 1977, Maxwell became a strong aggressive offensive defenseman.  He possessed a very hard and accurate shot and quarterbacked the power play.  Maxwell had his best season in 1983-84 where he scored 19 goals and 73 points.  However the highlight of his career had to have been the 1981 Cinderella Stanley Cup run.  In the era of Paul Coffey and Ray Bourque Maxwell’s play was often under appreciated.  Unfortunately Maxwell was often injured and fell short of expectations.  He spent the last few years of his career with Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver and N Y Rangers.  In his career Maxwell played in 612 NHL games scoring 92 goals and 270 assists with 1292 penalty minutes.  Brad Maxwell is a strong candidate for the best defenseman in Minnesota North Star history playing with them 8 seasons.

Brian Bellows

The Kitchener Rangers forward was hyped up to be the next Wayne Gretzky.  Brian Bellows did it all, he was the complete package, a courageous leader, a clutch scorer, and a power play specialist.  Teams were lining up to acquire Bellows in the 1982 Entry Draft.  GM Lou Nanne acquired the second overall pick from Detroit for Don Murdock, Greg Smith and first round pick (Murray Craven).  They  also traded away defenseman Brad Palmer to the Bruins to ensure that Bellows was not selected.  In his rookie season Bellows struggled at first but scored 35 goals with an additional 9 points in nine playoff games.  


Bellows became the youngest captain ever in his second season with the North Stars.  In 10 seasons with the North Stars Bellows  put up a  North Star record of 342 goals in 753 games, peaking with 55 goals in the 1989-90 season.  He was the playoff point leader with 29 points in the 1990-91 and took the North Stars to the Stanley Cup finals where they fell to the Penguins.


Bellows was well known and admired in Minnesota for his charitable involvement in many causes, ranging from Special Olympics and drug prevention to fundraising for multiple sclerosis, Easter Seals, the March of Dimes and MADD.  On August 31, 1992 Bellows was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Russ Courtnall. The trade angered Bellows, however, when he joined the Canadiens, Bellows remarked, "I hope to score more than last year. I want to come in and prove I can still play to the levels expected. I was shocked about the trade but I'm excited about the new change and the chance to play for the Canadiens”. His 88 points were the second highest season total of his career, and his 15 playoff points helped the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup in 1993. Bellows played in 3 All Star Games and finished his career with 485 career goals, including 9 30-goal seasons, 4 40-goal seasons and a 50 goal season.

Craig Hartsburg

Craig Hartsburg isn’t probably on most people’s list as top defensivemen of the 1980’s but he surely was one of my favorites as captain of the North Stars for seven seasons.  The smooth skating defender was known for his lateral skating and accurate passing.  His vision and creativity easily transitioned a quick rush up the ice though the slimmest of passing lanes.  Hartsburg had an accurate, low hard shot from the point which was easy for tip ins.  In 570 games with the North Stars over 10 seasons Craig Hartsburg scored 98 goals, 315 assists and 413 points while collecting 818 penalty minutes.  Hartsburg was a sound defender and using his size to pin opponents along the boards.  Unfortunately Hartsburg NHL days were cut short with numerous injuries which eventually forced his retirement at the age of 30.  The resume on Craig Hartsburg’s coaching career is much longer as he has held coaching positions positions for the last 23 years including the North Stars, Flyers, Ducks, Senators and Flames.  He has also coached in the OHL, WHL and coached Canada to gold in the 2007 and 08 World Junior Championships.



Bobby Smith

Lou Nanne in his first year as GM chose Bobby Smith as the first player in the 1978 draft.  Smith had set QMJHL records with the Ottawa 67’s that still stand more than thirty years later for most assists (123) and most points (192) in a single season.  After winning the Calder Trophy in his rookie season Smith helped the Stars go from worst in the league to Stanley Cup finalists scoring 25 playoff points in 19 games. Smith was a big part of an exciting young team that also boasted Neal Broten, Dino Ciccarelli and Craig Hartsburg.  Smith's best season came in 1981-82 when he notched career highs in all major offensive categories: 43 goals, 71 assists and 114 points.  The Norris Division champs were ousted in the first round of the playoffs resulting in a coaching change.  Mahoney’s style of play did not suit well with Smith and soon requested that he be traded or he would return to school.  He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 1983 helping the Habs win the Cup finals in 1985-86.  After 6 ½ solid seasons with the Habs Smith was traded back to the North Stars helping them get to the Stanley Cup finals one last time.  Smith retired from hockey in 1993 however he stayed in Minnesota completing both his BA and MBA degrees. A few years later he became the GM for the Phoenix Coyotes  and is now majority owner for the Halifax Mooseheads.



Neal Broten

Amazingly, Neal Broten never thought that he was good enough to play in the NHL.  Yet within the next 6 years in two State HS Championships, was named WCHA rookie of the year, helped the Gophers win an NCAA Championship, won the first Hobey Baker Memorial Award, and helped team USA shock the world to win an Olympic Gold Medal.  Herb Brooks would later say, "He's the best player I ever coached at Minnesota", as he was cat-quick, sneaky fast, had excellent hands, and made his teammates better.  

The North Stars were determined to get Broten in the 1979 Entry Draft.  Lou Nanne made a deal with Edmonton’s Glen Sather in exchange for picks and tough guy,Dave Semenko. Not only did Nanne draft Neal Broten but also, Tom MacArthy and Craig Hartsburg.  Broten signed his first pro contract late in the 1981 season and was immediately inserted into the North Stars lineup where his speed complimented the fast skating Stars. They advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals only to fall short of the NY Islanders in five games.

The next five years Broten would shine wearing the North Stars jersey.   He was the runner-up to Dale Hawerchuk for Rookie of the Year.  Scored 405 points in his first 5 NHL seasons including a career high 105 points, which marked the first time a U.S. born player had ever reached the 100 point mark.  Neal was also one of the few who fought Gretzky.   During the 1990-91 season Broten’s team again advanced to the Stanley Cup final losing to Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins.   

Broten played 15 of his 17 NHL seasons with the North Stars.  Dallas traded Broten to New Jersey in exchange for Corey Millen on February 27, 1995.   Lamoriello has made a Hall of Fame career out of making shrewd, successful decisions.  The 35 year old was in the downside of his career having produced only 4 points in the first 17 games of the lockout shortened season.   Broten’s playmaking ability re-emerged, and he became the first-line center the team desperately needed.  Broten scored 28 points in the final 30 games of the regular season, and 19 points in 20 games of the playoffs, helping the Devils win their first Stanley Cup.

Two years later, Dallas got Broten back, claiming him on waivers from Los Angeles on January 28, 1997.  His number 7 was retired by the Dallas Stars in 1998 and was inducted into the US. Hockey Hall of fame in the Year 2000.  In 2009 he was voted by Minnesota Wild fans as the greatest hockey player ever from Minnesota.

Dino Ciccarelli

A badly broken leg in juniors left Dino Ciccarelli undrafted with doubts from his doctors that he would ever play again.  Lou Nanny took a chance and signed the small forward, assigning him to another year of juniors where he rebounded with 50 goals and 103 points.   Dino was called up to the North Stars late in the year the following season scoring 30 points in 32 games.  While the North Stars went on a cinderella run for the cup that spring and Dino scored 14 goals and 21 points in 19 games setting a record for the most playoff goals scored by a rookie.  He became known as a garbage goal scorer as he parked himself in front of the net, most of his 608 career goals would never make a highlight reel.  


In the 10 years Dino spent with the North Stars he would tally 332 goals and 319 assists including 2 100+ point seasons.  Ciccarelli also had a bit of a bad boy image as one altercation led to an assault conviction as he attacked Luke Richardson with his stick the other for indecent exposure at his home outside of Minneapolis.  Dino was later traded to the Washington Capitals.  He played the remainder of his Hall of Fame career with the Redwings, Lightning, and Panthers organization.  

Jon Casey

Jon Casey was my favorite goalie to despise as a teenager, he played for my H.S. rival stopping everything.  And yes, he carried his H.S. team to a state championship in 1980.   He went on to win two NCAA championships with North Dakota.  The 5’10, 155lb goaltender signed as an undrafted free agent with the Stars in 1984 but didn’t get to play in the NHL till four years later after Don Beaupre was traded to Washington.  Casey carried the North Stars to the Stanley Cup finals against the Penguins after a posting a losing 27-39-14 record as a team during the regular season.


He will probably be most remembered for two infamous moments in his career as the NHL has made its “History Will Be Made” commercials of Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman scoring playoff game winning goals on him.  Although Casey was a less than stellar goaltender in the NHL he holds several goaltending records with the North Stars including record for highest save percentage-- career, season, and playoffs, and most wins -- career, season, and playoffs.  Casey was later traded to the Boston Bruins and finished his career with St. Louis.

Honorable Mention:

Bill Masterton --  The 28 year old Bill the “Bat” Masterton loved to play hockey and desired to play in the NHL.  Masterton left his steady job at Honeywell to join the new expansion Minnesota North Stars.  He played in only 38 NHL games and scored only 4 goals and 12 points in the first season of the North Stars.  His first goal was the first goal ever in franchise history against the St Louis Blues.  On January 13, 1968, Masterton led a solo rush up the ice where he was heavily body checked.  The helmetless Masterton fell to the ice and never regained consciousness.  He died two days later.  Soon after the tragedy number nineteen was retired and the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was created to be given each year to a player that best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship and love of the game. Today the trophy is given out to players who have had to battle hardships due to injury or illness.

I’ll end this rather lengthy blog with Al Shaver's Last Call.

"It's Ludwig, giving it to Dahlen ... 4,3,2,1 ... and it's all over. The Stars lose it here, 5-3, and now it's pack-'em up time and on to Dallas. We wish them good luck. And to all the North Stars over the past 26 years, we say thank you, all of you, for so much fine entertainment."

"It's been a pleasure knowing you, Minnesota's loss is definitely a gain for Dallas - and a big one. We thank you, though, from the bottoms of our hearts, for all the wonderful nights at Met Center, when you've given us so much entertainment and you've been such a credit to the community in which you played. We will still remember you as the Minnesota North Stars."


Thanks for reading.  Take a moment to enjoy a few Pics and please vote for 5 of your favorite North Stars.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 8 years later...



01. 1979: Harry Howell

02. 1980: Gump Worsley
03. 1985: John Mariucci
04. 1986: Leo Boivin
05. 1992: Bob Gainey
06. 1997: Glen Sather
07. 2001: Mike Gartner
08. 2004: Larry Murphy
09. 2006: Herb Brooks
10. 2010: Dino Ciccarelli
11. 2014: Mike Modano
12. 2000: Walter Bush



01. 1973: John Mariucci
02. 1976: Robert Ridder
03. 1979: Bob Dill
04. 1980: Walter Bush
05. 1981: Thomas Williams
06. 1989: Robert Paradise
07. 1990: Herb Brooks
08. 1993: David Langevin
09. 1995: Henry Boucha
10. 1996: Reed Larson
11. 1997: William Nyrop
12. 1998: Lou Nanne
13. 1999: Gordie Roberts
14. 2000: Neal Broten
15. 2003: Steve Christoff
16. 2003: Jim Craig
17. 2003: Steve Janaszak
18. 2003: Mark Pavelich
19. 2004: Mark Johnson
20. 2006: Gary Gambucci
21. 2007: Aaron Broten
22. 2010: Derian Hatcher
23. 2012: Mike Modano
24. 2016: Shawn Chambers
25. 2016: Jack Ferreira
26. 2017: Ron Wilson
27. 2021: Paul Holmgren

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...



01. 1979 - Harry Howell

02. 1980 - Gump Worsley
03. 1985 - John Mariucci
04. 1986 - Leo Boivin
05. 1992 - Bob Gainey
06. 1997 - Glen Sather
07. 2001 - Mike Gartner
08. 2004 - Larry Murphy
09. 2006 - Herb Brooks
10. 2010 - Dino Ciccarelli
11. 2014 - Mike Modano
12. 2000 - Walter Bush



01. 1973 - John Mariucci
02. 1976 - Robert Ridder
03. 1979 - Bob Dill
04. 1980 - Walter Bush
05. 1981 - Thomas Williams
06. 1989 - Robert Paradise
07. 1990 - Herb Brooks
08. 1993 - David Langevin
09. 1995 - Henry Boucha
10. 1996 - Reed Larson
11. 1997 - William Nyrop
12. 1998 - Lou Nanne
13. 1999 - Gordie Roberts
14. 2000 - Neal Broten
15. 2003 - Steve Christoff
16. 2003 - Jim Craig
17. 2003 - Steve Janaszak
18. 2003 - Mark Pavelich
19. 2004 - Mark Johnson
20. 2006 - Gary Gambucci
21. 2007 - Aaron Broten
22. 2010 - Derian Hatcher
23. 2012 - Mike Modano
24. 2016 - Shawn Chambers
25. 2016 - Jack Ferreira
26. 2017 - Ron Wilson
27. 2021 - Paul Holmgren






01. 2012 - Jack Gordon

02. 2015 - Bronco Horvath

03. 2018 - Don Biggs






01. 2010 - Danny Lawson

02. 2010 - Kent Nilsson

03. 2010 - Terry Ruskowski

04. 2010 - Paul Shmyr

05. 2010 - Glen Sather

06. 2010 - Howard Baldwin

07. 2012 - Mike Gartner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...