Over the course of the franchise, the Dallas Stars have had six different captains. Each chosen to uphold the values of the team as well as exhibit leadership both on and off the ice. Here’s a comprehensive history of every captain the Stars have had:
The first player to don the captain C on a Dallas Stars jersey was Mark Tinordi. The Canadian-born defenseman was the previous captain of the Minnesota North Stars and was first named to the role for the 1991-92 season.
The Stars kept him in that role as they made the transition from Minnesota to Dallas. However, the next season (1994-95) he was traded to the Washington Capitals in exchange for Kevin Hatcher.
In his time as captain of the Dallas Stars, Tinordi appeared in 61 games and recorded 24 points. Tinordi retired prior to the 1999-00 season after being drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the expansion draft.
After the Stars traded away Tinordi, centerman Neal Broten took over the role. His time as captain was short-lived however as he was traded to the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 27, 1995. Prior to being named captain, Broten spent 12 seasons playing with the North Stars and one season with Dallas.
Broten is an Olympic gold medalist. He won this gold medal as part of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team who made history in Lake Placid in the event hockey fans know well as the Miracle On Ice.
Broten was also the first American-born player to score more than 100 points in a season and is one of two NHL players to have won an NCAA championship, an Olympic gold medal, and the Stanley Cup, the other being Ed Belfour.
In his time as captain with the Stars, he appeared in just 17 games and recorded four points. Broten retired from the NHL in 1997, and in 1998 the Stars retired his No. 7. He was later inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.
After the Stars traded Broten, Derian Hatcher was named captain. Hatcher served as captain from 1995 to 2003 before he signed with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2003.
In his time as captain, Hatcher appeared in 591 games and recorded 42 goals and 174 assists. In 1999 he also led the team to its first and only Stanley Cup Championship and was the first American-born captain to do so.
He served as captain for the longest period of time of any Stars player in franchise history serving eight seasons. (Jamie Benn is on the cusp of tying Hatcher as the 2020-21 season will be his eighth-season as captain). Since retiring in 2008, Hatcher was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.
After Hatcher signed with the Red Wings, Dallas found themselves without a captain, but not for long. In the summer of 2003, the team named Mike Modano, arguably the best American-born player to ever skate on NHL ice, their new captain.
Modano played in seven All-Star games, won silver at the 2002 Olympics, and was part of the Stanley Cup-winning team in 1999.
He holds the record amongst all Stars players in games played, goals, assists, points, shots, game-winning goals, the list goes on and on.
Modano was one of the most influential players in the NHL during his career and helped shape the modern Stars franchise. He truly embodied everything it meant to wear a Stars jersey throughout his career with the team even without the C on his sweater.
His time as captain came to an end in 2006 simply because while playing in that role his production declined and the team made the decision that he was better off in the alternate captain role.
In 2010 Modano signed with the Red Wings as a free agent but returned to Dallas in 2011 to retire with the team. In 2014 the Stars retired his No. 9 and in the same year, he was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame.
After Modano was demoted to the alternate captain role in 2006, Brenden Morrow took over the captain role.
In his time as captain, Morrow appeared in 384 games and recorded 123 goals. Morrow was known to play with such intensity and passion and that’s what made him such a great captain for the team.
Morrow is also in the top-10 in games played, goals scored, assists, and points in the Stars franchise records. While Morrow didn’t have the best stat numbers in franchise history, his dedication to the team and the work he put into his game spoke volumes to the captain he was.
He upheld the values of grit, determination, and class that are expected of all Stars players but especially of captains. Morrow had a great international career as well. He’s an Olympic gold medalist, World Champion, and he won a silver medal at the 1999 World Juniors.
Morrow’s career with Dallas came to an end in 2013 as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He did return to the team on a one-day contract to retire with the Stars in 2016.
After Morrow was traded, the team named 24-year-old Jamie Benn to the captain role. Benn who has been in the organization since 2009 is one of the best captains the team has ever seen. Much like Morrow, he might not always be the top producer on the team, but he makes up for it in his character and leadership.
He went from being a young player who was almost always overlooked and being a fifth-round draft pick, to being the heart of the Dallas team. He didn’t get there easily either and had to work tirelessly at his game. He’s put in the work constantly and it has paid off.
Every season, Benn seems to be constantly improving his game and leadership skills and has constantly shown up for his teammates both on and off the ice.
Benn is a World Junior champion, an Art Ross Trophy winner, and an Olympic gold medalist. With Benn as captain, the Stars are in good hands when it comes to leadership, and that’s really all an organization could ask of a captain.
While the Stars haven’t had a very long or extensive list of captains, each one has contributed to the organization both on and off the ice to get the team to where they are now.