Texas Stars Celebrate Their Championship With Fans

The captain lifts the Cup.
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
It was quite a night for the Texas Stars, their fans and the city of Cedar Park. Five years after the building was opened and the Texas Stars first hit the ice, the city celebrated its first Calder Cup championship. The music was loud. The fans were rowdy. The players might have been even rowdier.

It was a well-deserved celebration of the moment that will be indelibly etched in every fan, player, coach, staff and member of the Texas Stars organization.

Speech of the night was a tough competition. In the noted absence of Coach Willie Desjardins, Doug Lidster was the appointed coaching representative. Desjardins was reportedly in Pittsburgh today interviewing for the head coaching job with the Penguins. Lidster thanked family and fans but really took the cake when he decided he had to be a point-for-point stand-in for Desjardins. He pulled out the whiteboard and tried to match Coach Desjardins signature pose, writing on the board. Later he even noted that he 'forgot the rock' and started swaying back and forth in Desjardins' signature manner.

After emcee Owen Newkirk opened the mic for players to speak freely as they were called to hoist the cup, the night went from good to great. Kevin Henderson took the early lead for best speech, frankly stating that he was not having a good year in Milwaukee and jokingly thanking Chris Mueller for single-handedly getting him traded to the Stars.
Goalies, man. (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Patrik Nemeth didn't speak a word of English, but had a few understandable phrases, such as "Cedar Park Center" and "Tak", meaning thank you. Hubert Labrie started a "TEXAS STARS" call and response. Chris Mueller complimented the fans, drawing on his time as an Milwaukee Admiral to tell the fans that the Cedar Park Center was the toughest building to play in for an opponent. Toby Petersen announced his retirement (which I'll cover separately).

Cameron Gaunce went politician and thanked the fans for being so polite and nice to their visiting family and friends. Mike Hedden didn't speak, but revealed a hidden beer, poured it into the Cup and drank it.
Ranford's real talk moment (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Brendan Ranford had some "real talk" as he put it. He grabbed the Cup, set it down close to the edge of the stage, and took out a beer. He clinked it against the Cup and put his arm around it. It was a great photo.

The night closed out with a highlight reel of the playoff run, capped with Patrik Nemeth's series winner. "The boys", as they were referred to so many times by all the players in their speeches, erupted at the goal.

Texas will do exit interviews tomorrow morning into the afternoon. Players will then start heading back to their various hometowns.


  1. I am a Hockey fan...'moderate' Stars fan at best...Like to watch hockey and they kept going after LA finished it. I do follow the leading AHL scorers most + the call-ups/transactions.

    That said, if you look at the numbers by Travis Morin, a career year +...+, that is obvious, first player is the modern era that I have researched to lead points wire-to-wire via HockeyDB.com - AHL or NHL in points from the first game, to the end of season.

    Then lead playoffs in points, then? WIN The AHL Cup! And I think MVP of Playoffs as well (or the final series), not sure.

    I think this is great - I followed it and it was captivating to me. Austin has a valuable player (lots of points, game winners etc in AHL) but if you are a GM in Dallas what message are you sending?

    If am putting my NHL Agent hat on and telling my client/prospect that you can score/lead whatever you want to do in Austin and they will say "thanks, but there might be someone else, call you if someone gets 'injured'".

    Probably looking at Florida at that point??

    I do not get it, go ahead, score a ton of points, lead the league, MVP of whatever, score 3 game winning goals in the playoff final series, the guy hopefully got himself the same 25 game tryout with Dallas as he did with Austin years ago for 2014

    1. You are right Ryan.
      I have been around hockey almost all of my life, what we were a part of this season doesn't happen very often. The fans and the team need to soak this one in, repeating it will be hard.
      We will certainly lose some players, and probably part or all of the coaching staff, that just happens.
      Travis has nothing else to prove or accomplish in the AHL. I hope that Dallas gives him a good look for next season, but its also possible that he may need to go somewhere else to get on a NHL roster. We will miss him, but it may be whats best for him.
      We will also see a couple of others go up, I am sure Patrik is a sure thing, and Brett and even Mac may stay next season.
      It was a magical season, we will get to raise two banners on opening night, tough act to follow.


    2. I thought we were raising 4 banners:
      Western Division Champs
      Western Conference Champs
      AHL Regular Season Champs
      Calder Cup Champions

      I could be wrong tho...


  2. I have been saying Mo needs a good real shot at Dallas for a while. He had other offers in th past and choose to stay. I hope it paid off. As much as I'd hate to see him leave, he deserves more. Gazdic did will.


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