20 years ago, on the site where a parking lot now sits housing cars for one of the largest shopping malls in the world, the Minnesota North Stars played their final game in Minnesota. Norm Green, the then owner of the franchise became hated with such passion that "Norm Green sucks" chants continue to echo through the state of hockey.
Legendary play by play announcer Al Shaver counted down the final moment that will forever be etched into our frozen memories.
"It's Ludwig, giving it to Dahlen…4,3,2,1…and it's all over. The Start los it here, 5-3 and now it's pack-‘em up and on to Dallas. We wish them good luck. And to all the North Stars over the past 26 years, we say thank you, all of you, for so much fine entertainment. It's been a pleasure knowing you, Minnesota's loss is definitely a gain for Dallas- and a big one. We thank you, though, from the bottoms of our hearts, for all the wonderful nights at Met Center, when you've given us so much entertainment and you've been such a credit to the community in which you played. We will still remember you as the Minnesota North Stars. Good night, everybody. And goodbye."
With the Wild averaging 18,000 plus every home game, it is difficult if not impossible to think that a hockey team here would struggle with attendance. That is exactly what transpired with the team just two years prior to their move to Dallas. During the 1990-1991 season in which the team made a run to the Stanley Cup Finals, the North Stars averaged under 8,000 per game. To put that number into some form of reference, there was no other NHL team that averaged less than 10,000 fans per game.
The North Stars first played an NHL game in 1967 as an expansion franchise in which they finished 4th in the west and made the playoffs defeating Los Angeles in the quarterfinals before falling in the semi-finals to St. Louis. The North Stars left Minnesota with a 758-970-334 record with 15 playoff appearances, a 77-82 playoff record, two Norris Division championships and 2 Campbell Conference championships in 26 seasons.