Friday, June 6, 2014

Calder Cup Win Would Mean More This Year Than Inaugural Year

Remember these guys? (Credit: JustSports Photography)
Here's a bold statement: I'm glad Texas didn't win the Calder Cup in 2010.

Alright, back up. If the Stars had won in 2010, it absolutely would have been an amazing experience. It would have meant a lot to the players, the fans, the franchise, etc.

But... if they win it this year, it means more.

For what it's worth, Texas Stars team president Rick McLaughlin agrees, "I think our fans probably didn't realize five years ago what it took and how close we came. With missing the playoffs [in 2012] and clawing back, the fans want this and are excited about it. They'll appreciate it even more this year if we're able to win it all."

Texas stormed the playoffs in 2010. They won two full-length seven game series on the road. They beat the top team in the division, conference and almost in the league.

But that team was a different makeup. It was veteran 'hired-gun' heavy. The effect of a team run on the current development pipeline alone is a huge difference. In 2010, there were two players on the roster who are now everyday NHLers: Jamie Benn and Colton Sceviour.

Travis Morin in 2010 (Credit: JustSports Photography)
This year, the Stars are all over it with prospects. They feature hopeful future Dallas Stars in Brett Ritchie, Curtis McKenzie, Scott Glennie, Radek Faksa, Matej Stransky, Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth, Cameron Gaunce, Jyrki Jokipakka and Jack Campbell. That doesn't count other who could make the show that were not drafted by the team, including Justin Dowling, Brendan Ranford and even Taylor Peters.

Further, I don't think the fans would have appreciated it as much if Texas had won in 2010. After five years in the league, Stars fans have seen how difficult the American Hockey League is, how difficult it is to be good year after year in the top development league in the country. And they certainly appreciate the difficulty of ending the regular season as the points leader.

AHL MVP Travis Morin agrees, "I think everybody will have more appreciation for it. I think the fans might have been spoiled a bit that first year to get that far and maybe think it would be easy to do and get back."

Morin was a rookie that first year and feels he will appreciate the win more this year if it happens.

"I was young, and it was my first year in the league. It was a whirlwind to get there. When you get older, you appreciate it more because you don't know how much time you have left in the league."

And now, five years later, it means more. Knowing the long road you must travel to get here, it will be all the sweeter to take home the league's top prize this June.

5 comments:

  1. I agree. Reminds me of a line from Roger Khan about the 52 and 53 Brooklyn Dodgers: "You may glory in a team triumphant, but you fall in love with a team in defeat."

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  2. And you know what, I think #10 for Hershey in that top pic is Andrew Gordon, who plays for St. Johns.

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    1. You are correct. Andrew Gordon is coming back to Texas for a CC Finals for the second time.

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  3. I just hope the team has the management and marketing experience to capitalize on this Calder Cup final. One thing I noticed, is that the St. John's Ice Caps have basically had a sellout for every home game for at least the last several years. Granted, there is probably a LOT less to do in Newfoundland than Central Texas in terms of live sports... but still, I would really love to see the Stars get closer to selling out the CPC on more than opening and closing nights. The excitement level in the building for Game 7 was unbeliveable, and you know any new fans there that night will definitely come back. They need to build on this excitement, do whatever they can to make the finals seem like an "EVENT" and not just another home game. If they can do that, they coudl easily draw 5,000 every game. It's just not that big of a hurdle to get over

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  4. Stars fans heading to St. John's should post a note and maybe all get together up there. Stephen are you or Shawn heading up? I plan to be there for Games 4 and if necessary 5.

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