Misery loved the Dallas Stars from 2008-2013.
Fans of the team didn’t know what was in store for them upon being eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2008 Western Conference Final.
During that time, the future of the Stars was in doubt. They went through 6 consecutive years of missing the playoffs, blockbuster trades, an ownership and management change, and a full rebranding.
There were even talks of relocating the Stars to a different city. Taking tips from Lazarus, the Stars rose from the ashes in an embodiment of the Phoenix metaphor and, in 2014, finally got out of their funk.
Mediocre doesn’t make the playoffs and that’s exactly what the Stars were. They never finished any of those 6 years they missed the playoffs with a below .500 point percentage.
The attendance was in the toilet especially in 2012 when they sold only 76.8% of available tickets, the 2nd worst in the league.
Lots can be said about the performance of the team during the dog years of the franchise but the 2009-2013 Stars were like drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth.
Team owner Tom Hicks had financial troubles and the Stars filed for bankruptcy. Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi purchased the team in 2011 and made it clear that the Stars were staying in Dallas but for a few months, there were rumors floating around about relocation.
The 2013 offseason was critical in the rebuild. General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk was out, Jim Nill was in. Head Coach Glen Gulutzan was out, Lindy Ruff was in. The Stars also rebranded their look by ditching the black jerseys with “DALLAS” across the chest. The new design featured the “victory green” jerseys with the “D” and star logo currently used today.
Fireworks mark Independence Day celebrations in the United States but the Stars made their own display by acquiring elite forward Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins via trade on July 4, 2013.
Seguin puts up amazing numbers with the Stars but recently hit a rough patch with injuries.
On April 11, 2014, the day finally came. After 6 years the Stars were finally going to play for a chance at the Stanley Cup. They met up with the Anaheim Ducks in Round 1 of the 2014 NHL Playoffs but were eliminated at home in overtime during Game 6.
This playoff appearance meant a lot to fans because it meant that the rebuild was nearing completion. Since the 2013 offseason, the Stars have 4 playoff appearances, 5 playoff series wins, and a Stanley Cup Final appearance.
Without the 2013-2014 season, the Stars would not be where they are today, a contender for the Stanley Cup.
Featured Image: Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI/Getty Images