Before the loss to Las Vegas on Friday night the Stars honored two franchise legends, Guy Carbonneau and Sergei Zubov, who were recently inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame in a ceremony in Toronto.
Carbonneau won 3 Stanley Cups including, most memorably for Stars fans, one with the Dallas Stars. Having served as Captain of the Montreal Canadiens, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues in 1994 (notably for erstwhile Stars Head Coach Jim Montgomery one for one, a trade Montgomery himself described as a bad trade for the Canadiens). He played one season in St. Louis before signing with the Stars in 1995, at the age of 35. He went onto play 5 seasons for the club, over 300 regular-season games, and made the playoffs in 4 of those 5 seasons.
In 1999, Carbonneau – an exceptional 2 way forward and veteran leader – helped bring the Stanley Cup to Dallas. Carbonneau maintains strong connections to Dallas as his daughter went onto marry his team-mate (and current Stars Director of Business and Hockey Development), Brenden Morrow.
Zubov, a decade younger than Carbonneau, was in the early stages of his career when he was acquired by the Stars, having played several seasons with CSKA Moscow in Russia and originally being drafted by the New York Rangers and playing the early part of his career with the Rangers Organization. He played one season with the Pittsburgh Penguins where he allegedly clashed with Penguins legend Mario Lemieux, particularly over control of the powerplay.
This personality clash allowed the Stars to pick up Zubov – already one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL – in a trade for Kevin Hatcher, adding a key piece to the team for the 1999 Cup run and a player who became a fixture on the Stars defense playing 12 seasons with the club. Later this season Zubov will become the 6th player to have his number retired by the Stars.
It’s notable that since being fired by HC Sochi of the KHL in October, Zubov has been working in an advisory role with Stars GM Jim Nill. Interim Head Coach Rick Bowness described Zubov as “a nightmare” to Coach against on the powerplay. While the Stars penalty kill has been outstanding this season, the powerplay has stuttered, sitting 23rd in the league.
One might speculate that the next generation of talented offensive defensemen in the Stars organization, most notably Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg, might benefit from the mentorship of one of the greatest ever to play the position, and whether Zubov may find himself in a coaching position with a reworked Stars coaching staff at some point in the near future.
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