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No Ordinary Joe

Monday, 10.20.2003 / 12:00 AM / News
Dallas Stars
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No Ordinary Joe



October 20, 2003

By J. Douglas Foster

Stars goaltender Marty Turco remembers the moment.

It was a rare occasion in Turco's career, one he hasn't seen often. But after allowing four goals during his rookie season against the New Jersey Devils at Reunion Arena, Turco was pulled from the game by coach Ken Hitchcock.

The next day, after practice, a young Turco faced more heat than he had the night before as every member of the local media surrounded his stall wanting to know exactly what happened. Entering the locker room late after staying on the ice for extra work, then Stars center Joe Nieuwendyk had their answer.

Nieuwendyk walked right to the edge of the media scrum, leaned in around the cameras and interrupted Turco's grilling.

"What happened last night was no fault of Marty's," he said.

"That's just the kind of guy he is," Turco said of his former teammate. "He's more of a friend than a teammate. He probably meant more to me off the ice than anyone I've played with yet. He's just that kind of human being, and I don't think anyone who knows him would doubt that."

That's just the kind of teammate Joe Nieuwendyk was to the other members of the Dallas Stars. That's why they'll always remember the things he did for them personally and for the organization, and that's why Stars fans will always consider him a part of their team, even if he's no longer wearing the Stars logo on his chest.

Wednesday will be Nieuwendyk's first trip back to Dallas in a visiting sweater since being traded to New Jersey in March of 2002, now as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs along with former Stars goaltender Ed Belfour.

Belfour made his return, last season, in a 2-1 loss to Turco and the Stars. This trip is Nieuwendyk's "welcome home," and for obvious reasons.

This guy was, to this team, the consummate teammate.

"He would do anything for you," Stars captain Mike Modano said of Nieuwendyk. "He's the kind of friend you could really rely on, and he's one that will always be a good friend to a lot of us."

During the summer months, Stars fans got excited about the possibility of Nieuwendyk returning to Dallas permanently as rumors flew about the possibility of him re-signing with his former team.

His former teammates certainly would not have minded.

"He's the one who kind of helped me grow up in this league," Stars left wing Brenden Morrow said. "I came in with that wide-eyed look every young kid has, and he led the way for me. He was kind of like a father figure for a lot of the younger guys."

Stars head coach Dave Tippett knows how his current players feel about Nieuwendyk. He had a similar experience with several players during his days in Hartford, bonding very closely with several core members of the team.

Kevin Dineen is one who stood out the most. But after the two were separated, Tippett said, he was just like any other opponent while on the ice, no matter how close the friendship was.

He expects the same between his team and Nieuwendyk.

"He was a great guy and a great teammate," Tippett said. "But you don't look to say hello on the ice or he would run you over.

"I'm sure a lot of people in Dallas will be friends with Joe for a long time. It's a similar situation we had in Hartford where six or eight guys remained friends for many years."

Untitled Document

StarGazing

*Stars right wing Jere Lehtinen's eligibility status was changed to week-to-week late Monday night, and Tippett said he would be reevaluated next Monday.

*Former Star and Maple Leaf Kirk Muller will be honored Wednesday in a ceremonial faceoff before the game. Muller announced his retirement this past summer.

*For Turco, facing the Maple Leafs -- no matter who is in the other net -- is always a thrill. After all, while growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, nothing was more important than that Maple Leaf crest. "I grew up watching that team on TV, Saturday nights on Hockey Night in Canada," he said. "Seeing those uniforms on the ice is always a special feeling."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 34 23 9 2 106 67 48
3 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
4 NSH 31 21 8 2 87 64 44
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 WPG 34 17 10 7 83 80 41
7 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 32 14 13 5 95 109 33
12 COL 33 12 13 8 85 101 32
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 34 7 20 7 74 116 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 32 25 17 8 42
J. Benn 32 10 20 1 30
J. Spezza 32 6 19 -10 25
T. Daley 32 7 9 -12 16
A. Roussel 32 7 9 -3 16
A. Goligoski 32 1 14 2 15
C. Eakin 29 6 7 2 13
S. Horcoff 32 5 7 1 12
E. Cole 31 6 5 -5 11
R. Garbutt 24 5 5 -6 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 13 7 5 .904 2.99
A. Lindback 1 5 0 .864 4.29
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