The Minnesota North Stars were one of the six expansion teams that doubled the size of the NHL for the 1967-68 season. The North Stars remained in the Twin Cities until the end of the 1992-93 season when they were moved to Dallas where they became known as simply the Stars. NHL hockey returned to Minnesota in 2000 as the Wild entered the league.
Test and expand your knowledge of Minnesota North Stars trivia with the following questions.
Q. In their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals in 1981, which team did the Minnesota North Stars lose to?
A. The North Stars lost to the New York Islanders. For New York, it was their second of four consecutive Stanley Cup victories. The North Stars finished the 1980-81 regular season in third place in the Adams Division, behind the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. Minnesota knocked off both those teams before upsetting the Calgary Flames in the conference final.
The playoff hero for Minnesota was Steve Payne with 17 goals and 29 points over 19 games. He was followed close behind by Bobby Smith and Dino Ciccarelli. Now in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Ciccarelli played the last half of the 1980-81 season with the North Stars, his first National Hockey League action, after starting the year with the Oklahoma City Stars of the CHL. Minnesota was coached that year by Glen Sonmor with Murray Oliver and J.P. Parise at his side.
Q. In their second trip to the Stanley Cup finals, which team beat the North Stars in 1991?
A. The Pittsburgh Penguins took out the North Stars in six games. The North Stars finished the regular season with an anaemic 27 wins but upset Chicago, St. Louis and Edmonton before bowing out to the Penguins.
That version of the North Stars had a Montreal Canadiens feel behind the bench with Bob Gainey acting as head coach and Doug Jarvis by his side as assistant coach. Minnesota was led in the playoffs by Dave Gagner’s 12 goals and Brian Bellows and his 29 points. Mike Modano was in just his second year in the NHL and contributed 20 points over 23 playoff games.
Q. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy was named for the Minnesota North Stars player who died as a result of an on-ice injury during Minnesota’s first season. Who was the only Minnesota North Star to win the Masterton?
A. Al MacAdam won the award in 1979-80. MacAdam started his NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers, playing just five games with the club in 1973-74. The following year, he was a member of the California Seals and followed that franchise through Cleveland and eventually to Minnesota.
In 1979-80, Al scored 42 goals and assisted on 51 for 93 points, leading the team in goals and points. Over his career, MacAdam played 864 regular season games in the NHL with the Flyers, Seals, Barons, North Stars and Vancouver Canucks.
Q. In their second season in the NHL, which Minnesota North Stars forward won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie?
A. Danny Grant won the Calder in 1968-69. Grant played the season before with the Montreal Canadiens but didn’t appear in enough regular season games to qualify as a rookie. He helped Montreal in the playoffs as they won the 1969 Stanley Cup. Grant is one of just four players to win the Stanley Cup before winning the Calder.
In that 1968-69 season, Grant scored 34 and assisted on 31 for 65 points over 75 games, leading the North Stars in goals and points. Danny played 736 regular season games in the National Hockey League between 1965-66 and 1978-79 with the Canadiens, North Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings. He was a 50 goal scorer with Detroit in 1974-75.