The Invincible M.A.E. (harleymae) wrote,
The Invincible M.A.E.

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Hatcher spam for Becky

Oh Becky ... this was on some Polish website or something so I copied and pasted - just for you! ;) Plus they talk about your home town! :D

Farewell to the captain
Derian Hatcher leaves Stars after nine seasons with 'C'


By MIKE HEIKA / The Dallas Morning News

Derian Hatcher served the last nine seasons as Stars captain and provided a solid, physical presence on defense. Hatcher ranks third all-time in franchise history in games played (827) and third all-time in penalty minutes (1,380), but his style of play did not allow for many statistical awards. He leaves the Stars with a legacy of great stories and fond memories. Here are a few moments to remember:


Raised in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, Derian Hatcher lived on a hockey-playing street. Eric Hatcher used to flood the backyard in the winter and turn it into a makeshift hockey rink for his sons, Kevin, Mark and Derian. Neighbor Shawn Chambers and kids from all over would come to skate with the Hatcher brothers. The only problem was Derian was six years younger than his next oldest brother.

"Derian may have worked at it harder than any of the other boys did," his father said, noting that Derian started skating at age 3 and used to take 100 shots a day as practice to keep up with the older kids.

Hatcher played midget hockey in Detroit and junior hockey in North Bay, Ontario. He so impressed scouts with 52 points in 64 games during his first season in North Bay, he was taken eighth overall in the 1990 NHL draft by the Minnesota North Stars.

"He's gonna be the next Serge Savard," one scout told Eric Hatcher.

He might not be there yet, but at age 31, he could be working on a Hall of Fame career.


It was hardly the setting for a career-changing experience.

The 1996 World Cup of Hockey was a summer tournament featuring NHL players who had not sparked much interest in the United States.

That was until Team USA started to win. Then the public started to jump on board.

And behind that charge to the top of the hockey heap was a physical defenseman from Dallas: Derian Hatcher. Paired with New York Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch, Hatcher was sent out against the best players in the world and routinely shut them down. He had three goals and two assists in six games to help Team USA win the gold medal.

His biggest game came in the opener of the three-game finals against Team Canada when he had two goals to help Team USA rally from a 1-0 deficit.

Then-Stars GM Bob Gainey was a special adviser to Team Canada and said he could detect Hatcher was having a breakout tournament.

"I gave a report to our team that said in order [for Canada] to win, Derian Hatcher had to not be a great player," Gainey said. "He was playing with a lot of confidence."


Bob Gainey was having a bad month.

He traded captain Mark Tinordi to start the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season. He named Neal Broten the next captain and traded him a month later.

With the Stars in need of a new captain, all eyes were on 25-year-old center Mike Modano, who was coming off a strong performance in 1993-94 and had become the main selling point for the team in its move to Dallas. But after a month of pondering, Gainey was unconvinced that Modano was ready. Instead, Gainey made one of the most surprising moves of his tenure as coach and GM. He handed the "C" to soft-spoken 23-year-old defenseman Derian Hatcher.

"When Bob walked into the locker room and made the announcement, you should have seen the jaws drop. I remember looking straight over at Hatch and seeing a look of absolute shock on his face," said longtime Stars defenseman Craig Ludwig, who now serves as the team's alumni coordinator. "But Bob saw something in him at the time, and I think Hatch proved him right."

Former Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said a couple of years back that Hatcher was a great choice to be captain.

"Nobody gives you a handbook for that job, and I'm not sure it's in his personality naturally to be a leader," Hitchcock said. "But he knew it was needed, he knew we needed it, so he developed a leadership aspect. ... He's a big-game player, Derian has proved that over and over again."


Derian Hatcher did something about it.

And some insiders contend what he did was the final stroke in the 1999 Stars becoming the Stanley Cup champions.

It was late in the 1998-99 regular season when Coyotes center Jeremy Roenick blindsided Mike Modano with a cheap hit in Phoenix, knocking Modano out and putting a huge scare into the Stars. Dallas players after the game lobbied for a Roenick suspension and that started a war of words.

Coyotes captain Keith Tkachuk finally dropped the gauntlet when he advised the Stars they should stop whining "and do something about it."

Hatcher did two games later when the two teams had a rematch in Dallas. He saw Roenick go behind the net and, in a moment of brute strength and power, threw his 235-pound body into the air. Hatcher's elbow caught Roenick flush on the side of the mouth and the impact broke his jaw. Hatcher was suspended for seven games, including the first five of the playoffs.

The move could have backfired as the Stars had to cover for the loss of Hatcher. Instead, it brought them together and gave then a brotherly bond that would carry them for the rest of the playoffs. Hockey might be one of the most brutal sports when it comes to violence, but Hatcher made a statement that day – that nobody better mess with Mike Modano or any player on "his" team.

It was one of the most important statements in his career.


Hatcher has drawn such a reputation as a big hitter that many forget he really is a gentle giant. Watch him on the ice after practice sometime as his four kids use him as a jungle gym, and you start to understand the patience and heart of the big man.

That was never more clear than the early morning hours of June 21, 1999. While Hatcher was overjoyed with the celebration he experienced with his teammates in Buffalo after winning the Stanley Cup, he couldn't wait for the charter flight home. That's because he had made a promise to his son Chase, who was 5 at the time, that he would win the Stanley Cup.

Hatcher said Chase asked him early in the playoffs if the Stars had won the Stanley Cup yet, and Hatcher had to tell him no, they had a long way to go. Little Chase wasn't satisfied with that answer, so he told his dad he just had to win the Stanley Cup.

And, surprisingly, his dad told him OK.

"I really told him we would win it," Hatcher said. "Just like that, just because he wanted it."

The Stars did win, and as captain, Hatcher has possession of the Stanley Cup the first day. So he got off a plane at 6 a.m., drove the cup to his house and set it on Chase's bed. He then woke his son up and watched as Chase jumped on the bed and celebrated the Cup, coincidentally on Father's Day.

"That's still probably my favorite memory of that year," Hatcher said this season.


Derian Hatcher has faced a few suspensions in his NHL career. The highlights:

• 1991-92 (10 games): Stick-swinging incident with Chicago's Jocelyn Lemieux

• 1993-94 (1): accumulated misconducts

• 1997-98 (4): Cross-checking Chris Pronger in the head (preseason)

• 1998-99 (7}: Broke Jeremy Roenick's jaw with a hard elbow (including five playoff games)

• 2000-01 (2): Elbowing St. Louis' Jeff Finley

• 2002-03 (1): Accumulated misconducts (playoff game)


1990: Drafted eighth overall by the Minnesota North Stars

1991-92: Makes NHL debut with North Stars; named team's rookie of the year.

1992-93: Struggles in second season, registering a minus-27 in 67 games

1993-94: Has 12 goals, 31 assists, career-high 211 PIM and leads team with plus-19

1994-95: Named captain; tallies 16 points in 43 games

1995-96: Posts solid numbers (31 points) as Stars miss the playoffs

1996-97: Helps USA to gold medal at World Cup and plays in NHL All-Star Game

1997-98: Averages 25 minutes a game, tops on the team

1998-99: Sets career best plus-21; helps Stars win Stanley Cup

1999-2000: Ranks sixth in NHL in ice time (27:32); helps Stars to Cup finals

2000-01: Finishes 10th in NHL in hits (250), but is minus-7 in 10 playoff games

2001-02: Has 25 points and is plus-12, but Stars miss playoffs

2002-03: Registers career-best plus-37 and is a Norris Trophy finalist

July 3, 2003: Signs as free agent with Detroit for five years, $30 million

Hatcher has drawn such a reputation as a big hitter that many forget he really is a gentle giant. Watch him on the ice after practice sometime as his four kids use him as a jungle gym, and you start to understand the patience and heart of the big man.
There ya go, jungle gym. Bernie told me about that initially. :P
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