DALLAS -- The Stars kicked off their 2019-20 campaign on Thursday against Boston, but the excitement of opening night stretched beyond just the action on the ice.
Before the game, former president George W. Bush surprised the sold-out crowd at American Airlines Center by dropping the ceremonial puck.
Video: BOS@DAL: George W. Bush drops ceremonial puck
Following a short montage on the arena video board, Bush, a Dallas-area resident who served as the 43rd U.S. president from 2001 to 2009 and before that was governor of Texas, emerged from the tunnel between the benches in a green No. 43 Stars jersey and waved to the crowd, which roared with applause. He then met Stars captain Jamie Benn and Boston's Zdeno Chara at center ice to drop the puck.
Bush, 73, also addressed the Stars following pregame warmup, calling out the team's starting lineup inside the dressing room.
Video: George W. Bush reads Stars' starting lineup
Photos by Glenn James/Dallas Stars via Getty Images
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Jeff Odom covers the Stars for DallasStars.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffodom.