One of the things I remember most about the Dallas Stars parade and rally inside Reunion Arena was the Stars announcing that Roman Turek had been traded to the St. Louis Blues. They ended up getting a 2nd round pick for him, but as a 13 year old child with no real access to the internet I wasn’t yet Aggressively Online so some aspects of the story were beyond my grasp.
In doing a little research for a project coming up on Mooterati I came across this nugget I’ve been trying to track down for, oh I don’t know, 20 minutes. This is from the September 20, 1999 issue of Sports Illustrated from Kostya Kennedy.
Rick Dudley eventually moved the fourth pick in the draft for Dan Cloutier, but had agreed to move “a good, established NHL player” for Turek prior to Lightning owner Art Williams killing the deal. (See, owners do kill trades at the last minute Erik Karlsson fans.)
Curiosity is getting the best of me big time. Tampa Bay was pretty terrible and the list of good, established players on that roster isn’t long. The Stars wouldn’t have been looking to get a goalie back just to risk losing in the draft. Tampa didn’t have any defensemen that fit the bill.
Pavel Kubina and Vincent Lecavalier were there, but neither was going to be moved so it isn’t them. The candidates are few, but interesting.
Wendel Clark left as a free agent. Lecavalier and Kubina weren’t happening. I don’t see how Alex Selivanov or Rob Zamuner fit. Surely the Stars weren’t targeting a reunion with Benoit Hogue. Craig Janney was traded for a 6th round pick the next season. The only names that fit are Chris Gratton, Darcy Tucker, and Stephane Richer.
And boy, do those names fit. Darcy Tucker and Chris Gratton especially. Tucker is known for this. And this entitled: “My Job Was to Drive Everyone Else Crazy On The Ice”. Yeah, that sounds like a Ken Hitchcock guy in 1999. Brenden Morrow would make his debut the next season playing a rugged power forward game, though he was never that kind of player. Steve Ott had some aspects of that reputation though, and he debuted shortly thereafter too. In 2000 the Stars also tried Scott Thornton out on LW. Tucker checks a lot of boxes.
Gratton could have fit too. A big scoring center? This is exactly the kind of player Hitchcock would have wanted, and also the exact type of center the Stars would acquire several years later when Joe Nieuwendyk was dealt to the New Jersey Devils for Jason Arnott. Arnott ultimately had a better career, but the similarities between the two are obvious.
I don’t know who the player ultimately was, but I would really like to find out. Someone out there knows, and it may be common knowledge that passed by my young brain at the time. I’m determined to find out.
At the Morning News
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