-- Before Saturday's game between the Minnesota Wild
and Dallas Stars
at American Airlines Center, the Stars honored Ed Belfour
, a 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and key contributor to their only Stanley Cup championship team in franchise history.
"Winning the Stanley Cup in '99 was a dream come true," Belfour said in his remarks to a sellout crowd. "It was an unbelievable experience. I'll never forget it. So thankful for (former Stars GM) Bob Gainey for bringing me here and giving me an opportunity to play in such a great city."
But before the Hall of Fame netminder began his prepared remarks, the Dallas fans serenaded him with a rousing chant of "Eddie, Eddie," something which was a regular occurrence during his time with the Stars between 1997 and 2002.
During his 16-year NHL career, Belfour was a six-time All-Star, won the 1991 Calder Trophy and a two-time Vezina Trophy winner.
In 963 regular-season games, he finished with a record of 484-320-125-14, had a career goals-against average of 2.50 and 76 shutouts. In 161 career postseason starts, he was 88-60 with a GAA of just 2.17 and 14 shutouts.
Several teammates from that '99 Dallas Stanley Cup-winning team, a group including Brett Hull
and Mike Modano
, were in attendance and introduced the man of the hour.
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"It's always great to see the fellas. It brings back all the memories," Belfour said. "You just wish you could keep doing it but unfortunately, we all get old, right?"
Now 46, he continues to live in the Dallas area. In fact, he recently finished building a house about an hour from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, where among his pursuits are hunting, fishing and enjoying the outdoors.
"Just pretty much taking it easy, enjoying my time -- a little bit of fishing, camping, outdoor stuff and hunting, enjoying my family and friends," Belfour said when asked about what he's up to these days.
One way the former netminder occupies his time is to keep tabs on how his oldest son, Dayn, a freshman goaltender at Nebraska-Omaha is doing. In six games this season, the younger Belfour is 2-1-2 with a 2.55 GAA.
"He's at UNO and really happy about that. He's had a few starts this year. He's been working hard and hopefully he'll be successful," Belfour said of his oldest son. "Hopefully he'll learn something at school. That's important too."
But he also has a younger son who is just learning to skate and he enjoys watching him hit the ice at such an early age.
"I've got a little guy. He's four now and had him on the ice a little bit too," Belfour said. "Enjoy watching him skate and learn how to skate."
He added: "Yeah, it's definitely nice when you can work with them a little bit and when you see them do something out on the ice that you taught them, it's definitely a good feeling to know that you've helped somebody in a positive manner."
Belfour admits he doesn't watch a ton of hockey these days, but he has seen enough of this year's Stars and specifically of their current goaltending tandem of Kari Lehtonen
and Richard Bachman
to offer an opinion on their play.
"Well I think they've done an outstanding job," Belfour said. "I don't watch all the games but they're very competitive."
is someone who knows Bachman and Lehtonen well as the Stars' current goaltending coach. Growing up in his native British Columbia, he remembers looking up to Belfour and wanting to emulate him on the pond.
"He was my hero growing up. I wanted to do everything like he did, and I wanted to play just like him," Valley said. "I always liked the way he kept his glove high. I liked the way he was in the butterfly more than other goalies. I liked how he was aggressive on shots. He was aggressive in playing the puck. I liked that he read the puck well."
Several years ago, Belfour had a short stint as the goaltending coach in St. Louis. And now that his house is finished, he won't rule out a return to the coaching ranks in the future.
"Maybe someday, been building a house the last year and a half has kept me real busy," he said. "Now that that's done, maybe I can look at something like that."