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CreaseAndAssist

Minnesota North Stars, a look back...

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I know this in the Minnesota Wild page, but we inevitably get asked this by other fans because most don't know the whole story.  This hopefully should clear up that question.  Enjoy...and if anyone wants to share North Stars memories this is the place.  

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Nice read.

 

I wrote this back when we did a summer Most Valuable Retired Player set of blogs.  

 

 

Like most every Minnesota hockey fan,  I despised the North Stars leaving Minnesota.  However, I learned some info of the other side of the story about 12 years ago when we made a trip down to Plano Texas with my eldest daughter who was looking to possibly train down in Texas with a potential ice dance partner.  We went out to dinner with the skating director who was in partnership with the ice hockey director of the 10 area rinks.  This person was very in the know of Stars move to Dallas and the greater plan to grow and expand the NHL.  The North Stars were the convenient team to move because the league knew hockey would be back in Minnesota relatively soon. That there was a plan to make Norm Green the bad guy so the team could move easier.  That because of this move a terrific program of figure skating and youth hockey was expanded to a location which didn't have ice rinks.  I saw the impact created by Mike Modano and others, and I was impressed. 

 

So impressed that I actually ended my hatred of the North Stars movement out of Minny.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, hf101 said:

Nice read.

 

I wrote this back when we did a summer Most Valuable Retired Player set of blogs.  

 

 

Like most every Minnesota hockey fan,  I despised the North Stars leaving Minnesota.  However, I learned some info of the other side of the story about 12 years ago when we made a trip down to Plano Texas with my eldest daughter who was looking to possibly train down in Texas with a potential ice dance partner.  We went out to dinner with the skating director who was in partnership with the ice hockey director of the 10 area rinks.  This person was very in the know of Stars move to Dallas and the greater plan to grow and expand the NHL.  The North Stars were the convenient team to move because the league knew hockey would be back in Minnesota relatively soon. That there was a plan to make Norm Green the bad guy so the team could move easier.  That because of this move a terrific program of figure skating and youth hockey was expanded to a location which didn't have ice rinks.  I saw the impact created by Mike Modano and others, and I was impressed. 

 

So impressed that I actually ended my hatred of the North Stars movement out of Minny.

 

I will forever hate the Dallas Stars.  My hatred hasn't dimmed one bit.  I laugh anytime they get upset when Minnesota fans invoke the North Stars.  The North Stars were NEVER Dallas' team...they had gone generic and became the lame Stars.  It wasn't as much a plan to grow the game in Texas.  It was an out for a jerk of an owner to avoid his own growing legal scandals here.  He was cheap like the previous owners for the team.  The truth is...the North Stars were mostly pretty lousy.  But we loved them.  Norm Green was scum and still is SCUM.  No one will convince me otherwise.  Mike Modano...yea...don't even get me started.  He said some pretty nasty things about Minnesota women before he left.  Trust me, some of us never forgot.  We miss that team, but I certainly do not miss him one bit.  Not one iota.  It sickened me when the Wild gave him a giant tribute during his last game playing for Dallas.    

Edited by CreaseAndAssist

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Watched this last night.  I was 5 years old when this game was played and I don't remember hearing too much about it.  This was actually a pretty good game.  The North Stars played the Soviets better than I expected them to.  Mike Eaves really had a good game.  

 

 

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13 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

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I know this in the Minnesota Wild page, but we inevitably get asked this by other fans because most don't know the whole story.  This hopefully should clear up that question.  Enjoy...and if anyone wants to share North Stars memories this is the place.  

 

Great idea to put that stuff back here. I remember the thread on the old boards (The legacy of the North Stars and why they left) where we had passionate discussions and stories about it. We could spend hours, whiting pages and pages about it, so why not start again 😉

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2 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

Watched this last night.  I was 5 years old when this game was played and I don't remember hearing too much about it.  This was actually a pretty good game.  The North Stars played the Soviets better than I expected them to.  Mike Eaves really had a good game.  

 

 

 

That was a GREAT game, and gave us a lot of pride when we were playing peewee, or whatever we were called @ 13 yrs old.  taped that, and watched it until the tape nearly died - then tried to dupe it over to a new tape. New tape was fuzzy, but we watched it another 20 times anyway. 

My best North Stars memory was about this same time, 82 or 83 when they had a Rec Center/playground teams night type of deal, where kids from all over the cities got tickets. There were a LOT more "kids" at the game than any usual game, and we were all "on our best behavior" (Hahahahaha)

Lots of the team Dads (and Moms!) got a bit Boozed up, and many a projectile was sent a flyin down the bowl.  Best part was right at the buzzer, we had won - my buddy jumps up to cheer, spills his chew spitter. . . . . .  INTO the hood of the lady in front of us, who was wearing a FUR COAT.  We bolted, but she stood up and proceeded to adjust her coat, spilling it down her back.........and then blamed the 2-3 kids on our aisle for it ! ! !

 

2nd Favorite isnt really a "memory" because I cant recall  much of it, but in the Stars final year, we knew a guy who got us Prime seats to the last 5 or 6 home games.  TheFinal one we went to, we got lost in the parking lot of MOA, hAVing parked on the opposite side of the building, but forgetting where we parked..... D'oh !

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46 minutes ago, PtoJoneser said:

 

That was a GREAT game, and gave us a lot of pride when we were playing peewee, or whatever we were called @ 13 yrs old.  taped that, and watched it until the tape nearly died - then tried to dupe it over to a new tape. New tape was fuzzy, but we watched it another 20 times anyway. 

My best North Stars memory was about this same time, 82 or 83 when they had a Rec Center/playground teams night type of deal, where kids from all over the cities got tickets. There were a LOT more "kids" at the game than any usual game, and we were all "on our best behavior" (Hahahahaha)

Lots of the team Dads (and Moms!) got a bit Boozed up, and many a projectile was sent a flyin down the bowl.  Best part was right at the buzzer, we had won - my buddy jumps up to cheer, spills his chew spitter. . . . . .  INTO the hood of the lady in front of us, who was wearing a FUR COAT.  We bolted, but she stood up and proceeded to adjust her coat, spilling it down her back.........and then blamed the 2-3 kids on our aisle for it ! ! !

 

2nd Favorite isnt really a "memory" because I cant recall  much of it, but in the Stars final year, we knew a guy who got us Prime seats to the last 5 or 6 home games.  TheFinal one we went to, we got lost in the parking lot of MOA, hAVing parked on the opposite side of the building, but forgetting where we parked..... D'oh !

 

I know my first game was around this time, I went with my aunt and uncle because they had tickets somehow.  We were playing the Kings.  I am not sure if we won or not.  I remember going to a few games after that; but the memories are super vague.  I certainly remember the last North Stars game I went to; in their final season.  I remember the Norm Sucks signs and the Norm Sucks T-shirts and jerseys.  The North Stars played the inaugural season Ottawa Senators.  The North Stars won, but they made it more of a game than they needed to.  

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As a kid growing up the North Stars were a favorite. They were something to look up to, something to reach for, something to covet in the dead of winter by watching their games.

 

They always seemed to be a step behind the competition though. There were years where they were good, but never really that good. They could beat some pretty decent teams and likewise lose to some pretty average to bad teams. MN Wild = some things never change.

 

I remember when they drafted Brian Bellows. (Obviously I was a fan long before he entered the picture) but the media hype over him was extreme. It wasn't long before I determined not only was the media hype extreme, it was extremely bloated. I mean, he was good but the rest of the team sucked. It was like that with just about every decent player they acquired and in true fashion the team just never could put together a good enough season to vie for the Cup.

 

Essentially what dawned on me was the team was never destined to be Cup material. Most the moves the team made were done to keep fans interested but they were mostly frustrated fans and frustrated players.

 

Over time it was like, what's better to watch on a Saturday night... All Star Wrestling or hope for a good bench clearing brawl of North Star players?

 

Back then Saturday nights were BIG with families. It was the one day in the week where your folks would break out one bag of potato chips and fill a glass full of ice cubes, then fill them up with some Coke from the glass 8-pack. Then you'd try to make that sh!t last for the whole game.

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My best memories of the Northstars, was (like I am with Wild games) more about seeing the visitor. As a grubby little urchin, when my dad got tix, he did so based on my wanting to see stars I had only read about in my Hockey News subscription. Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Terry Sawchuk,  Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Plante, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Andy Bathgate, Glenn Hall and of course my top two, Bobby Orr and Jean Beliveau. I can still remember the first time I actually saw my Hockey hero, Jean Beliveau...he truly was larger than life, right in front of my eyes. 

 

I also remember  being at the game after Bill Masterton died. It was crazy somber and quiet in the Met that night

Edited by Antti_Laxative

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I watched my fair share of North Star games growing up, but what I remember best was listening to Al “Close” Shaver on the radio. He was the North Stars to me. 

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As with almost everything - it's all about the money...

 

Would have been interesting if the Excel Center was right where Ikea is - and hooked to the Mall for restaurants, hotel, etc...  

 

Never went to a Stars game - but did go to my first concert there - Ted Nugent...  I had to be 14 or 15 - an older buddy in St Cloud had a car so we drove down...  I remember there were some people at the Met parking lot that climbed the massive light poles during the pre-game parking lot craziness - and people started throwing beer bottles at them when they were way up there - insane - since 99% of them missed and therefore went somewhere into the crowds of people...  

 

Is that Thunderbird hotel still right there still...? Bet those hotel rooms have a few stories from the North Star days...

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1 hour ago, Confrontational said:

As with almost everything - it's all about the money...

 

Would have been interesting if the Excel Center was right where Ikea is - and hooked to the Mall for restaurants, hotel, etc...  

 

Never went to a Stars game - but did go to my first concert there - Ted Nugent...  I had to be 14 or 15 - an older buddy in St Cloud had a car so we drove down...  I remember there were some people at the Met parking lot that climbed the massive light poles during the pre-game parking lot craziness - and people started throwing beer bottles at them when they were way up there - insane - since 99% of them missed and therefore went somewhere into the crowds of people...  

 

Is that Thunderbird hotel still right there still...? Bet those hotel rooms have a few stories from the North Star days...

We'd always go for a few drinks at Thunderbird after  tilts because the "waitresses" wore mini skirts ;)

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2 hours ago, Confrontational said:

As with almost everything - it's all about the money...

 

Would have been interesting if the Excel Center was right where Ikea is - and hooked to the Mall for restaurants, hotel, etc...  

 

Never went to a Stars game - but did go to my first concert there - Ted Nugent...  I had to be 14 or 15 - an older buddy in St Cloud had a car so we drove down...  I remember there were some people at the Met parking lot that climbed the massive light poles during the pre-game parking lot craziness - and people started throwing beer bottles at them when they were way up there - insane - since 99% of them missed and therefore went somewhere into the crowds of people...  

 

Is that Thunderbird hotel still right there still...? Bet those hotel rooms have a few stories from the North Star days...

 

Nope. It'a a vacant lot now. I think it had something to do with the airport expansion...

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The X is fine where it is.  Mall of America / Ikea is fine where it is.  The North Stars were not an organization about winning.  They operated like an early 2000's expansion team.  

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A ice hockey arena has to be downtown, whatever the team or the city is. All facilities built in the suburbs or in the middle of nowhere are struggling right now. The Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa (in Kanata in fact) is a disaster and they will move in the city centre in the new Le Breton area. When Phoenix went in Glendale, that was also a terrible mistake that they will eventually solve by moving back in downtown Phoenix. Not having a building in the centre of Miami also hurt the Panthers a lot.

 

Right now, all the arenas are located in city where you can go to restaurants, shops and any other commercial facility that can benefit from it. Driving 30-45 minutes to a concrete desert just to watch the game and then leave just makes no sense at all.

 

In this perspective, the Met Center location was one among many other factors that led the North Stars franchise to struggle. And the arena, whatever renovations and improvements you might have been made would always have been a burden.

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On 6/12/2018 at 8:14 AM, CreaseAndAssist said:

Watched this last night.  I was 5 years old when this game was played and I don't remember hearing too much about it.  This was actually a pretty good game.  The North Stars played the Soviets better than I expected them to.  Mike Eaves really had a good game.  

 

 

LIG, Thanks for posting. Just finished watching the entire game, lots of pleasure. Nice speeds, nice puck control, full 60 min. of play from both teams. Fetisov, Larionov, and Krutov were the real stars from the Russian side then. Fetisov also had a political career and was a Minister of Sport in Russia 2002-2008.

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7 hours ago, Alexandron said:

LIG, Thanks for posting. Just finished watching the entire game, lots of pleasure. Nice speeds, nice puck control, full 60 min. of play from both teams. Fetisov, Larionov, and Krutov were the real stars from the Russian side then. Fetisov also had a political career and was a Minister of Sport in Russia 2002-2008.

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Did you see the movie "Red Army" ? It's a documentary about the story of the top-5 Soviets (Festisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Krutov and Makarov) from their early days in Moscow, the opening to russian players in the NHL to the current situation. Very interesting.

 

(Sorry for the parenthesis in this topic)

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40 minutes ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

 

Did you see the movie "Red Army" ? It's a documentary about the story of the top-5 Soviets (Festisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Krutov and Makarov) from their early days in Moscow, the opening to russian players in the NHL to the current situation. Very interesting.

 

(Sorry for the parenthesis in this topic)

I saw "Red Army" - very well done. But I lived through and was glued to my tv during, the original "Summit Series" in 1972.  That was bar-none, the most intense spellbinding sporting event/series I have ever witnessed.  Soviets stars (playing for Red Army) at that time (off th top of my head) were Yaukushev, Petrov, Mikhailov, Tretiak and the great Khavlamov (Man that guy was amazing)...so amazing in fact that the famous two-handed chop by Bobby Clarke that broke Khalamov's ankle is seen by many as the cheapest cheap shot ever...but also the catalyst behind Canada's amazing comeback in the series.  Man, that was a tense time (cold war, yada yada) and like I said the most compelling series I have ever witnessed.

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1 hour ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

 

Did you see the movie "Red Army" ? It's a documentary about the story of the top-5 Soviets (Festisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Krutov and Makarov) from their early days in Moscow, the opening to russian players in the NHL to the current situation. Very interesting.

 

(Sorry for the parenthesis in this topic)

 

Yes I did.  It was really intriguing.  I also saw the 30-for-30 about the Russian-side of the Miracle on Ice game...that was pretty eye opening.  

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21 hours ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

A ice hockey arena has to be downtown, whatever the team or the city is. All facilities built in the suburbs or in the middle of nowhere are struggling right now. The Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa (in Kanata in fact) is a disaster and they will move in the city centre in the new Le Breton area. When Phoenix went in Glendale, that was also a terrible mistake that they will eventually solve by moving back in downtown Phoenix. Not having a building in the centre of Miami also hurt the Panthers a lot.

 

Right now, all the arenas are located in city where you can go to restaurants, shops and any other commercial facility that can benefit from it. Driving 30-45 minutes to a concrete desert just to watch the game and then leave just makes no sense at all.

 

In this perspective, the Met Center location was one among many other factors that led the North Stars franchise to struggle. And the arena, whatever renovations and improvements you might have been made would always have been a burden.

The location of Met Center was actually an excellent one. Sitting just off of 494 and 5 minutes from 35W, the Met was just 10-15 minutes from both St. Paul and MPLS. And it's location in the southern suburbs was where the majority of growth was at that time.

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11 minutes ago, sweetshot said:

The location of Met Center was actually an excellent one. Sitting just off of 494 and 5 minutes from 35W, the Met was just 10-15 minutes from both St. Paul and MPLS. And it's location in the southern suburbs was where the majority of growth was at that time.

However, most the growth all took place to the north. Today... I can't even imagine what that area would be like if they left both baseball and hockey venues down there. I think one of the nicest things about them being where they were was that they were so close to the airport. That and of course the huge parking lots! lol

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That's a pretty sweet collection.  A friend of mine gave us some North Stars programs from the 90's; which @MNSOTA will feature as part of a few Let's Read segments.  I think I might join her for those.  

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2 hours ago, rottenrefs said:

However, most the growth all took place to the north. Today... I can't even imagine what that area would be like if they left both baseball and hockey venues down there. I think one of the nicest things about them being where they were was that they were so close to the airport. That and of course the huge parking lots! lol

Massive parking lots. I remember going to a few Kick's games at the old outdoor Met Stadium--I swear there would be 25,000 people attending the game, and 25,000 more partying in the parking lot!

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@sweetshot which is sadly missed!

 

Maybe keeping all kinds of extra fire extinguishers on-hand was too costly for all those out of control drunken BBQ'ers! lmao

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8 hours ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

 

Did you see the movie "Red Army" ? It's a documentary about the story of the top-5 Soviets (Festisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Krutov and Makarov) from their early days in Moscow, the opening to russian players in the NHL to the current situation. Very interesting.

 

(Sorry for the parenthesis in this topic)

 

Unfortunately, I did not see it yet. I saw the 10 min. preview of the Red Army movie :

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and  a CCCP Hockey - Soviet Hockey Documentary (English):

 

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CCCP means in English USSR. Translations from Russian in subtitles for both video are not a superb and shorter, but pretty close of what they said .  Krutov ("TheTank")  out of those 5 stars and KLM trio, unfortunately, already died at the young age of 52  six years ago (on June 6,  2012) after internal bleeding. 

 

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      Hidden Content Give reaction or reply to this topic to see the hidden content.   I know this in the Minnesota Wild page, but we inevitably get asked this by other fans because most don't know the whole story.  This hopefully should clear up that question.  Enjoy...and if anyone wants to share North Stars memories this is the place.  
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      I watched my fair share of North Star games growing up, but what I remember best was listening to Al “Close” Shaver on the radio. He was the North Stars to me. 
    • 2
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      Did you see the movie "Red Army" ? It's a documentary about the story of the top-5 Soviets (Festisov, Kasatonov, Larionov, Krutov and Makarov) from their early days in Moscow, the opening to russian players in the NHL to the current situation. Very interesting.   (Sorry for the parenthesis in this topic)
    • 2
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      I saw "Red Army" - very well done. But I lived through and was glued to my tv during, the original "Summit Series" in 1972.  That was bar-none, the most intense spellbinding sporting event/series I have ever witnessed.  Soviets stars (playing for Red Army) at that time (off th top of my head) were Yaukushev, Petrov, Mikhailov, Tretiak and the great Khavlamov (Man that guy was amazing)...so amazing in fact that the famous two-handed chop by Bobby Clarke that broke Khalamov's ankle is seen by many as the cheapest cheap shot ever...but also the catalyst behind Canada's amazing comeback in the series.  Man, that was a tense time (cold war, yada yada) and like I said the most compelling series I have ever witnessed.
    • 1
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      Watched this last night.  I was 5 years old when this game was played and I don't remember hearing too much about it.  This was actually a pretty good game.  The North Stars played the Soviets better than I expected them to.  Mike Eaves really had a good game.      
    • 1
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      I was sickened by that as well.
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