Friday, July 4, 2014

Top 6 American-Born Texas Stars All-Time

Toby Petersen (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
As the nation celebrates Independence Day, it seems like an apt time to look back at five years of players and pick the top 6 American-born Texas Stars in team history. Do you agree?

#6: Toby Petersen

On the tail end of his career, Minnesota-born Toby Petersen joined the club full-time last season and put in just under 100 total games in the regular season. Injuries cut short his postseason this year but he retires a champion after a 14 year career. He served as a great mentor for Dallas' younger prospects and could be headed to the coaching ranks soon.

#5: Jack Campbell
Jack Campbell (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
When I was first looking to compile this list, I hadn't realized how many games Michigan native Jack Campbell has played in with Texas. At 68 regular season contests, he is just 16 behind fellow American Richard Bachman. Last year he was a steady contributor and this season was hampered by injuries but blew away expectations when he was healthy with a 1.49 GAA and .942 SV%.

He will have a chance to creep up this list with his #1 goalie role solidified next season.

#4: Chris Mueller
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Recency and impact help to move Chris Mueller up the list after just one season in Cedar Park. The New York native put up 57 points in 60 games in the regular season and added 11 points in 19 playoff games. He was a fixture on the league's best power play, scoring 15 with the man advantage and assisting on many more. His 0.95 points-per-game average leads all Texas Stars all-time. He parlayed that success into a one-way deal with the New York Rangers next season.

#3: Richard Bachman
Richard Bachman (Credit: Darren Abate)
Salt Lake City's Richard Bachman has deep ties to the Texas Stars. He was drafted by the organization in 2006 and then joined the pro ranks the same year Texas got started. When Brent Krahn went down in the 2010 playoffs, Bachman backed up Matt Climie.

Bachman would anchor the crease for Texas the coming season, posting a 2.20 GAA and taking Texas to playoffs against Milwaukee. He was key to victory many nights as the defensive style of those Texas Stars demanded a lot of goaltending. That success sent him to Dallas where he beat out Andrew Raycroft and backed up Kari Lehtonen during a forgettable 2011-12 campaign for Texas.

He was entrenched as the backup in Dallas in 2012-13 but fell out of favor and signed last year with the Oilers. He played many more games against Texas this season with the Barons, including all three in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

#2: Greg Rallo
Greg Rallo (Credit: Chris Jerina)
Coming into the 2009-10 season, Illinois-native Greg Rallo expected to suit up for the Idaho Steelheads the entire year. In fact, he had even bought a house in Boise. Scott White brought him in on a professional tryout, and he hasn't seen the ECHL since. With Texas, he was a big part of the success the first two seasons. He had 45 goals and 54 assists in 147 regular season games. He added four goals and eight assists in 30 playoffs games between the first two years. He was the right wing on the top line with Jamie Benn and Aaron Gagnon in the inaugural year.

That success made him a great pickup for the Florida Panthers organization. He earned an NHL contract at 30 years old and has now played 11 games for the Panthers. He has also become captain of the San Antonio Rampage.

#1: Travis Morin
Travis Morin (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
It couldn't be anyone else, could it? The Brooklyn Park, Minnesota center is either first or second in almost every meaningful statistical category. Similar to Rallo, he came in on a PTO and made a name for himself, earning an NHL deal with Dallas after the inaugural year.

He would probably have topped this list this time last season as well. This past season puts him in untouchable territory. After winning the AHL regular season and playoff MVP awards and leading the league in scoring, it's easy to say he's the best Texas Star ever (and certainly the best American).

Others I might have left out to your chagrin: Dan Spang, Trevor Ludwig, Andrew Hutchinson.

5 comments:

  1. Sorry you had to bring up Spang in that elite group. Happy 4th everyone. Bill

    ReplyDelete
  2. And no Luke?
    Ok, I'll be quiet now....
    Scott

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oleksiak, not American born, but has duel citizenship.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Top 6? I'm guessing there haven't been 7 Americans on the team? :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. Remember to keep it civil. Using a name will help us identify replies and build a Texas Stars community.