Andy Moog might have only spent four seasons in goal for the Dallas Stars, but the ex-NHL goaltender loved the Metroplex so much that after playing one final season with Montreal in 1997-98, he hung up his pads and continues to call DFW home.
Now 52, the three-time Stanley Cup champion netminder is a partner with the Texas Brahmas of the Central Hockey League, and also does some work for a company that manufactures hockey equipment.
“I have a small commitment with the Brahmas. I don’t really have any day-to-day responsibilities over there, but I consult on hockey-related issues over the course of the year with the management and the coach,” Moog said. “That’s still fun to be connected with the game. I spent some time on the ice this past year in a goalie coach role and that was enjoyable as well. I still have an involvement with a manufacturing company, Vaughn Manufacturing, who produces hockey equipment and I spend some time marketing and doing public relations for them.”
And like many former Stars who remain in the area, he has become very involved with the club’s alumni group, led by former Stars defenseman Bob Bassen. “I think we’re probably a valuable asset in terms of marketing and promotion of the team, another branch or arm of the franchise along with the team,” he said. “I think we can be best-utilized in a marketing role, akin to the Ice Girls.”
Like his fellow former Stars, he feels that he and his former NHL brethren can help get the word out and help attract more fans to support the team at American Airlines Center this fall and winter.
“I think that we can assist with probably some of the long-standing fans that may have gotten a little impatient over the past couple of years. We can probably assist with those people, just letting them know that the direction of the franchise is similar to what they fell in love with when they became a Stars fan originally,” Moog said. “That’s the objective, to get it back to that status and that sort of direction within the organization.”
Part of his involvement entails occasionally taking the ice at the group’s informal skates, which occur throughout the year. “I’ve been out there a couple times, but those guys are still too fast for me. I’m over 50, I need a slower league,” Moog joked.
Besides helping to get the word out about the good things the club is doing on and off the ice, another highlight is the annual Stars Alumni Weekend, a gathering which not only features a chance to get back out on the ice, but also an opportunity to connect with some former teammates he hasn’t seen in sometime.
“That’s probably the best part of the game. During the course of your career, you establish relationships with people. You may not see them every week, month or year, but when you do get to visit again, it’s like old times and you pick up right where you left off,” Moog said. “For me, that’s probably the best part of being in the game that long, is those relationships that stay intact.”
Between making his NHL debut in 1980 and hanging up his goalie mask in 1998, he played 713 regular-season games, going 372-209-88 and added another 132 games of playoff experience. And no matter whether he was playing for the Oilers, Bruins, Stars or Canadiens, those are times he continues to recall quite fondly.
“It’s been 13, 14 years now since I retired. I look back at it with fond memories. Unfortunately, at the end I played through a lot of physical difficulties. The grind was just grueling. Every morning I wake up, that’s still fresh in my memory,” Moog said. “But the experiences I had, the people I met and the opportunities that were given to me, which are outstanding, I don’t think I could have dreamed a better scenario.”
However, after coming to Dallas in 1993, he and his wife decided to remain in the Metroplex, and to this day, they continue to call Coppell home. “We made a commitment to our daughters when we moved from Boston to Dallas in ’92. We just said our girls were going to graduate high school from here. Didn’t really say I was necessarily going to stay here and play all my hockey here, but they had made two significant moves and that was enough. So once we made that commitment, we really ingrained ourselves in the community here in Coppell,” Moog said. “We love it here. It’s everything we wanted in a home and a community for our children.”
And since he was here for the inaugural season of Dallas Stars hockey, who better to ask about the current state of the game in the Metroplex than someone who has seen the game grow at every level over the last almost two decades?
“I think there’s a tremendous market for hockey, whether it’s the youth levels, participating or the pro and junior levels and fans watching the game. There’s a desire for the sport,” Moog said. “The local teams are giving their fans what they want in terms of the product on the ice at virtually every level. It’s a pretty diverse market for hockey here and is definitely filling all the needs.”