Today General Manager John Chayka announced that the Arizona Coyotes have acquired the Minnesota North Stars history and franchise records from the Dallas Stars in exchange for the Winnipeg Jets 1.0 history and franchise records and a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
“We weren’t actively shopping the original Jets history, but [Jim] Nill called and made an offer that we couldn’t refuse,” Chayka stated in a faxed press receipt.
The North Stars existed for 26 years before relocating to Dallas and were part of the NHL’s original expansion in 1967. In 1978 they merged with the Cleveland Barons, becoming one of the few NHL teams to absorb a rival team. Three years later they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals but lost in five games to the New York Islanders.
Minnesota had several star players on their roster throughout their existence including Stanley Cup champion and three-time NHL All-Star Brian Bellows, Hart and Selke winner Bobby Smith, and Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Mike Modano, Dino Ciccarelli.
The North Stars may be best known as the team of Bill Masterton. While on their roster Masterton sustained a severe brain injury on January 13, 1968, against the Oakland Seals. Masterton would not be able to recover, and two days later he became the only player in the NHL to die as a direct result of injuries sustained in a game. In 1968 the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was created and is awarded annually to “the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
“The Minnesota North Stars have a rich history full of excellent players and some truly unfortunate tragedies. And unlike the Jets 1.0, they never traded Teemu Selanne for Chad Kilger and Oleg Tverdovsky.”
With the acquisition of the North Stars, the Coyotes have improved their history and will hopefully give players an inspirational past to inspire to. Although it wasn’t stated, it seems likely the current Jets made a similar offer, but other than those amazing powder blue jerseys there is little to be desired in the Atlanta Thrashers history.