DALLAS -- The lockout-shortened NHL season began with high expectations for Dallas Stars fans. A sellout crowd of 18,532 came out to watch the team's season opener on Jan. 19, which featured the legendary Jaromir Jagr and team captain Brendan Morrow leading the Stars at American Airlines Center.
Fast forward to the end of the season, the Stars traded leading scorer Jagr to the Bruins, Morrow to the Penguins and missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
Prior to the Stars final game of the season, where they played host to the Detroit Red Wings, All Access with DFW.com host Kelsi Reich sat down with the team's color analyst Daryl "Razor Reaugh to discuss the state of the organization, what he thinks has to happen for Dallas to get back in the Stanley Cup playoffs next season and what's on his agenda for the off-season.
Razor mentioned to Kelsi that with the NHL being a results-oriented business, he would not be surprised to see changes made to the Stars brass on the heels of another season of no playoffs. Word leaked during the game that Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk had been fired, and it was confirmed the next morning by the team.
"I believe it is time to take this organization in a different direction with our intentions set on returning to the elite of the National Hockey League," Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said in a statement. "My commitment to the Dallas Stars is unwavering."
It is not all bleak for Stars fans. Under the ownership of Gaglardi, the games have become a much more fan-friendly atmosphere. He lowered ticket prices throughout the arena and the team also instituted College Nights with fans having valid student IDs getting in for $15. The Party on the Plaza events before each game feature live music and the chance to meet Stars alumni for pictures and autographs. Gaglardi also brought Stars great Mike Modano back to the franchise as an executive adviser and alternate governor.
More good news for Stars fans came in March when the NHL's Board of Governors approved the realignment plan that will have Dallas in a division with Chicago, Colorado, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg. Translated, the Stars will not have half of their games begin at 9:30 local time due to being in the Pacific Division and playing the California teams and Phoenix.
While the Stars are headed home, Razor's playoff streak is intact as he will be a part of the NBC Sports broadcast of the NHL playoffs. His fans can also check out his blog Razor with an Edge, follow him on Twitter @Razor5Hole. and catch him on the links as he will be one of the local celebrities playing in the Wednesday Pro-Am at the upcoming Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth.
FOLLOW JAY BETSILL ON TWITTER @THEFAMOUSJAY