“When you go through the course of your career you don’t think that you’re playing because you want to be a Hall of Famer. You play because you love the game and you love to compete and that’s what I tried to do over the course of my career,” said Nieuwendyk, who scored 564 goals in 1,257 NHL games .
He played 442 games for Dallas, where he won a Stanley Cup in 1999. He also won Stanley Cups in Calgary (1989) and New Jersey (2003).
Saturday’s ceremony, which will be star 6:45 p.m., will include a highlight video and the Stars presenting gifts to Nieuwendyk. Stars broadcasters Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh will be the emcees of the event.
The Stars also plan to honor Belfour for his election to the Hall of Fame later this season. That’s slated for February 4 when the Stars host the Minnesota Wild.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Nieuwendyk, Belfour, Gilmour and Howe will be held November 14 in Toronto.
Stars get look first look at East
Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils will be the Stars first game against an Eastern Conference opponent this season.
Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski, who played with Pittsburgh to start his NHL career, doesn’t see much difference between West and East.
“It’s splitting hairs. They’re all NHL players. Coaches don’t coach any differently,” Goligoski said. “A team like New Jersey, they are going to be very defensive. They have (Zach Parise) and (Ilya) Kovalchuk, who are go out there and wheel around and play the offense, but for the most part they’ll play pretty offensive. It’s pretty similar to the way things are out here.”
The Stars fared well against the East last season, posting an 11-5-2 record. The Western Conference as a whole fared well against the Eastern Conference in 2010-11.
West teams were 142-88-40 (.600) against the East last season, while East teams posted a 128-107-35 records against the West (.539).
So far this season it’s been a little tighter between the two conferences. In fact, it’s a dead heat as far as points percentage. The West is 20-13-6 (.590) vs. the East, while East teams are 19-12-8 (.590) vs. the West.