Stars Round Out 25 Years in Dallas by Hosting 2018 Draft

It’s pretty hard to think that this summer in 1993 hockey fans in Minnesota were dejected that they lost the beloved North Stars to Dallas, Texas. The NHL has already begun it’s wave of franchises in warm-weather cities by this time as expansion had reached Anaheim, Florida and Tampa Bay. But this time it stung more because a hockey-mad market like Minneapolis-St. Paul lost their team. Everything worked out in the end because hockey eventually returned to the Twin Cities with the Wild. This is similar to what happened a few years later in the National Football League when the Cleveland Browns packed up and moved to Baltimore before the reincarnation of the Browns we know today.

The Stars achieved success in their early years in Dallas, culminating with a Stanley Cup championship in their sixth season in 1999  (Now isn’t the time or place to argue whether or not Brett Hull’s OT Winner should have counted or not). The Stars made the playoffs 12 of their first 14 seasons in Dallas. They’ve been on some hard times since, winning one playoff series since reaching the Conference Finals in 2008.

If they have another season where they don’t make the playoffs, they’ll have the opportunity to draft their future star players next June as they were selected to host the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. The announcement came from the league Saturday:

NEW YORK – The Dallas Stars™ will host the 2018 NHL Draft™ at American Airlines Center, the National Hockey League, Stars and city of Dallas announced today. The 2018 event will mark the first time the Stars and the city of Dallas will host the NHL Draft. The Dallas Stars franchise will celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary during the upcoming 2017-18 season, and will host special events throughout the year to commemorate the Club’s milestone.

The 2018 NHL Draft™ will be held over two days – Friday, June 22 (Round 1) and Saturday, June 23 (Rounds 2-7). NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while thousands of fans and hundreds of print, television and radio media are expected to attend.

“The first Draft of the NHL’s second century will be the first at which players who were born in the year 2000 will be eligible for selection,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Tomorrow’s NHL stars will skate into the spotlight when the 2018 NHL Draft brings the NHL family together at American Airlines Center in Dallas.”

“The Stars organization is honored to host the 2018 NHL Draft during our 25th Anniversary season in Dallas,” Dallas Stars Owner and Governor Tom Gaglardi said. “Since our team moved to North Texas prior to the 1993-1994 season, we have been embraced by the community from day one and are lucky to have one of the most passionate fan bases in the NHL. Over the past 25 years, we have seen the tremendous growth of our sport through youth hockey programs, community involvement and grassroots efforts in the greater Southwest region. The 2018 NHL Draft will serve as a showcase for the next generation of international NHL talent and celebrate the success of hockey in the state of Texas.”

“On behalf of the city of Dallas, thank you to Commissioner Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League for selecting our city to host the 2018 NHL Draft,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “The Draft will generate an estimated $14 million in economic impact as we welcome fans from all 31 NHL clubs, members of the hockey community and potential draftees and their families from countries around the world. Our city being granted this honor is yet another example of how Dallas continues to be one of the most sought after locations to host first-class events.”

Getting to host the draft was a goal of the team for the last couple years. “[Pursuing the draft] started about two years ago, and what it took was a really concerted effort by Jason Farris, our chief operating officer,” Stars CEO and president Jim Lites said. “Just worked really hard with the League to stay out and get out in front of all the other teams that wanted to host it.”

Ticket distribution plans, related events, and other details pertaining to the 2018 draft will be announced at a later date.

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