To help keep my Stars family occupied, I challenge you with a little Stars trivia. A nice blend of questions from the franchise’s 26 years in Minnesota and the 19 since the move down south.

The first to answer every question correct will receive a mention on Twitter or whatever other form of social media they prefer, which is sure to bring jealousy and envy that could last anywhere from mere seconds to an entire lifetime. And really, you can’t put a value on that.

Enjoy

 

1.This player holds not only the franchise record, but the NHL record for most goals by a rookie in one playoff season.

2.Name the two Stars players to lead the playoffs in points.

3.Name the two Stars players to win the Calder trophy as the league’s rookie of the year.

4.This player was the first in franchise history to reach the 30 goal plateau in a season.

5.This player was the first in franchise history to reach the 40 goal plateau in a season.

6.Name the three players in franchise history to reach the 50 goal plateau in a season.

7.Who holds the franchise record for most goals in one game and how many did he score?

8.Which Stars player scored the very last goal at the old Met Center in Minnesota?

9.Which Stars player scored the very first goal at Reunion Arena in Dallas?

10.This player scored the only game seven OT playoff winner in franchise history.

11.Name the franchise’s three first overall draft choices.

12.Who scored the game winning goal against Colorado in game seven of the 2000 Western Conference final?

13.This goalie played just 18:46 for the team in a 1996 game when both Andy Moog and Darcy Wakaluk were out.

14.This goalie played the other 40 minutes in that same 1996 game.

15.This player was the first ever draft choice by the “Dallas Stars”.

16.This player is the most recent in Stars’ history to finish a season with a goal total somewhere between 40 and 49.

17.Which player was sacrificed to San Jose for a pair of depth defensemen when captain Mark Tinordi went down with a broken leg?

18.Who owns the franchise rookie points record?

19.Though never actually suiting up, this NHL legend belonged to the Stars for exactly one day before being traded to the Quebec Nordiques.

20.This player, after a Gretzky-like move behind the net, got the puck out to the point for Sergei Zubov to assist on Joe Nieuwendyk’s game four OT winner as the Stars swept the Oilers in round one back in 1999. 

 

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed this first edition of Stars Trivia. Check me out on Twitter at travcurrie

 

 

 

There’s a common desire among parents. That is to see their children have a better life than what they themselves had. One with less struggle, and more opportunity.

Frantisek Musil was born in Pardubice, Czechoslovakia on December 17 1964. This was a time when the country was under heavy Soviet influence – where western democracy had been eliminated and the KSC (Communist Party of Czechoslovakia) held absolute power. As for hockey, the players were more soldiers in an army and the possibility of pursuing a career outside of their homeland (more specifically North America) was non-existent.

Going back to the late 1970s, fellow Czech and major hockey star in the nation Peter Stastny stood up to the corruption that was rampant surrounding the national team. He was told to keep his mouth shut and his hockey career was threatened. When authorities suspected he may defect, the KGB showed up at his place and overturned every inch in search of evidence. When he eventually did make his escape along with younger brother Anton to play with the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques in August of 1980, there were consequences for the Stastny family who remained behind. The family name was disgraced and older brother Marian’s hockey career was punished – until he himself fled to play in Quebec a year later. So there was understandably great fear in anyone who was under pressure to leave.

In 1983, then North Stars GM Lou Nanne watched a young Musil play in the World Junior Championships and was impressed with what he saw. Being that they couldn’t just hop on a plane to join their NHL club like they do nowadays, using a draft pick on such players was risky business.  By then the Stastny brothers had put the Quebec Nordiques on the map – with Peter especially tearing up the NHL – so he took a chance and drafted Musil with the 38th pick in the draft that year.

The North Stars’ GM would spend the next few years trying to convince Musil to defect – which would of course prove to be very difficult. It gave a whole new meaning to the term “stay-at-home defenseman”.

Then in 1986, after numerous failed attempts by Nanne (including forking over $25,000 upfront to the same Czech contact that helped usher the Stastny brothers out from behind the Iron Curtain), Musil’s agent Rich Winter had finally convinced him to defect. Nanne immediately flew to Yugoslavia where Musil was going to be vacationing, and headed to the American Consulate. After some shaky moments, Nanne called home to have both an immediate h1 visa and a contract produced to show Musil had work in America so a passport could be done up. First flying to London, they realized that Musil only had a visa for the States and not for England. So close to being home free, Nanne explained the situation to immigration and they let him through.

Finally after three years, many phone calls and some slick maneuvering, Musil was on his way to Minnesota.

Months later when Nanne went over to Czechoslovakia to watch his son Marty play for the U.S. in the World Junior Championships, he ran in to Miro Schubert – the top Czech hockey official at that time. While Schubert wasn’t pleased with Nanne for “stealing” one of his players, things were smoothed over and it was only about a year later that a deal was struck between the NHL and Czechoslovakia that a player’s rights could be bought to bring him over. This of course was a major turning point in the hockey world.

Frantisek Musil would play 797 regular season games and 42 playoff games over a 14 year NHL career that took him to Calgary, Ottawa, and Edmonton after his four plus seasons in Minnesota.

But it was while with the Flames that Musil would add to his legacy.  On April 9, 1993, son David would be born.

When Frantisek’s playing days were over in 2001, he was hired by the Oilers as a European scout. The family would move home to what is now the Czech Republic – where there would be no fear of consequence thanks to the fall of communism in 1989. And the agreement signed between the nation and the NHL after Musil defected 15 years previous meant that David, who took up hockey like his father, was free to play not only in the family’s homeland but in North America as well. He would take advantage of that freedom in 2009 as he headed for Vancouver to play for the Giants of the WHL. Having  that dual citizenship, he played for the Czech Republic in the 2009 and 2011 World Junior Championships.

A young standout defenseman just like his father was, David was drafted by the Oilers 31st overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Being born in as well as playing his junior hockey in Canada, he’s already well accustomed to the North American style of game. There are no armed guards watching over; no secret rendezvous points; no fear of what might happen to family or friends; and no political boundaries to escape for David or any other player across seas dreaming of a career in North America.

David’s NHL career lies in the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, not in those of a communist regime. Along with the Stastny brothers, Frantisek Musil played a major role in opening the door for European players coming over to North America. And assuming he shared that common parental desire of wanting a better life for your kid, it’s fair to say he’s a happy man.

 

Thanks for reading. Comments more than welcome. Check me out on Twitter at travcurrie

 

 

 

 

There are people who are put in our lives to inspire us. Who make us realize life really isn’t that bad. The kind of people who take the bad things in life and build upon them turning them into something beautiful and inspiring. Nowadays those people are a rare find  kind of like a shooting star. You search for them. You hope for them. One day you find them and they change your life. Today you can put your search on hold for I am introducing all of you to an inspiration. A young man who has taken a bad thing and molded it into something good.

I would like to introduce you to Roger Morris Ice Hockey Alum and current Bakersfield Condors player Chris Kushneriuk. While training for the current 2012-2013 season Chris began to have stomach pains that gradually worsened. What they thought were kidney stones turned out to be testicular cancer.  Most people would become depressed upon realizing their life is hanging in the balance. On top of  that the thing Chris loves the most, playing hockey, would have to be put on hold for the duration of treatments. Most people would have a hard time coming to terms with this situation. Chris Kushneriuk is not most people. His outlook on having cancer is incredible. In an October interview with Gary Heeman, writer at Uscho.com, Chris Kushneriuk stated :

When something like this happens, you really look at life in a different light and you see things differently. I really appreciate things more like family and friends — the true finer things in life, not the material things. I wake up every day excited for having another chance to fight this.

It doesn’t stop at this statement either. If you take a look at Chris’ twitter (@stonecoldkush )  you will see what kind of person he truly is. Chris leaves treatment updates. He tells people he’s never met to have a blessed day. Chris thanks all of those who send him well wishes. He tries to keep his attitude on the situation positive. This man took something so horrible, so dreadful, so ugly, and turned it into something beautiful. Chris is taking delight in his weakness and making it his strength.

Tomorrow Chris will have a round of stem cell treatments and will begin high dose chemotherapy on Wednesday. Unfortunately these life saving treatments do not come cheap. ECHL players do not make much money. If you have the money please consider donating to help the Kushneriuk’s pay for treatments.  Below are a few options.

  1. The Robert Morris University Men’s hockey team is selling blue bracelets for $5 that say  “RMU HOCKEY KRUSHES CANCER.” You can send a self addressed envelope and Check or money order to :
    RMU Men’s hockey
    6001 University Blvd
    Moon Township, PA 15108
  2. You can make a donation through chriskushneriuk.org
  3. If you live in or around the Ottawa area there will be a fundraiser at the Great Canadian Cabin restaurant on December 15th. There will be many items up for auction including a Robin Lehner goal stick signed by the Ottawa Senator’s farm team the Binghamton Senators. The restaurant is located on York Street in the ByWard Market. Please consider going.

Every dollar helps. If you can’t give money please give your support and strength. Please consider taking a moment to pass this story around. It takes a minute to retweet, post this to facebook, or tell a friend about this incredible young man. Please keep him in your prayers, thoughts, hearts, and mind. Especially this upcoming week.

If you would like to learn more about Chris Kushneriuk I’ve placed a few articles and sites below:

 

 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

6 of the 7 times I’ve posted hockey shots dedicated to a team that team has lost. Today I’m dedicating these shots to the Lock Out in hopes that the Lock Out ends.

 

This first shot goes out to the one and only Commissioner Gary Bettman. Since his reign began in 1993 the NHL has experienced three lock outs. In those 18 years Bettman has become a scapegoat for all problems ranging from lock outs to global warming. He’s even been given some rather spectacular nicknames such as “The Count”. So Count Bettman this shot is for you. Drink up and negotiate.

The Count Bettman

1-part Black Velvet Whiskey
1- part Grape Soda
1 part Cherry Vodka

In the counts voice ” 1, 2, 3. THREE!! THREE LOCK OUTS ah ah ah” then shoot!

 

Don’t you just love it when someone tells you they are going to do one thing and they end up doing the opposite? Ya, me neither. Which is why I’m a little salty with the New York Rangers. They stood in front of everyone and said they were united. That they were not going to flee to another country. What fools we were to believe they wouldn’t leave us behind. After the lock out was announced many of the New York Rangers packed up and left us behind. This shot is dedicated to the team who left us behind.

 

Flight of the Rangers

1 part Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1 part Cruzan Vanilla Rum
1 part Cruzan Black Cherry Rum
1 park Coke

* Before taking this shot tell everyone at the bar you’ll be there all night. Take the shot, throw your money on the bar, and run out before anyone can stop you.*

 

Without Paul Bissonnette my days on twitter would be few and far between. The man sure knows how to start a riot. Be forewarned Biznasty haters. If you tweet Biznasty something rude he will retweet it and his twitter minions will get all up in your twitter grill. Without further ado the shot dedicated to the panty soup legend himself.

 

Risky Bizness

 1 part Absinthe
1 part orange juice
1 part maple syrup
1 part egg white

*After shooting say something that will get everyone riled up. Repeat the responses. *

 

You know what’s worse than someone doing the exact opposite of what they said they were going to do? Someone leaving in the middle of the night before you have a chance to say goodbye. Before you have a chance to fix things. That my friends is what Evengi Malkin did. The day before the lock out Malkin signed with a KHL team. I understand why he left but understanding doesn’t make it hurt less. The least you could do is drink the shot I’ve made for you.

Malkin Early

2 parts Stoli Salted Karamel
1 part Baileys
carmel and chocolate sauce on top

*Tell everyone to count to three. When you hit number two shoot before everyone else*

 

 

While many signed with European leagues and decided to play in the minors there was one man who decided to go a different route. Captain of Team USA and Columbus Blue Jackets Defenseman, Jack Johnson, went back to the University of Michigan to finish school. While many were moaning about how hockey is the only life they know Jack Johnson was making sure he had other options. A lot of players could learn from Jack. If you have the time and money finish up school so you have options in situations like these. Cheers to you Captain America. Study Hard, Play Hard, Party Hard.

 

Captain America Goes to School

1 Part Cherry Vodka
1 Part Blue Berry Vodka
1 part Vanilla Vodka

Drop in a glass of Red Bull

 

 

Here’s to an end to the lock out. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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