The Dallas Stars today named Joey Picca from Irving, Tex., as their 7th Man. Picca, 18, was selected from more than 200 entries by the Stars. As the Dallas Stars Fan of the Year, he receives a Stars jersey, the opportunity to attend a team morning skate at American Airlines Center and to meet a player following that practice. Picca will be honored during the second intermission of this Sunday's home regular season finale vs. Chicago. In addition, Picca will be entered into the League-wide contest to determine the NHL Fan of the Year from the 30 team winners.
The League and its 30 Member Clubs introduced the NHL 7th Man Award last year in celebration of its fans' dedication, passion and loyalty and to honor its fan of the year.
The grand-prize winner of the 7th Man Award will receive a trip to New York to become "Commissioner for a Day" and will participate in a ceremonial opening face-off at Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Fans entered on NHL.com or dallasstars.com by submitting an essay of up to 250 words describing their qualifications as the 7th Man for the Stars. Picca's essay best exemplified dedication, passion and loyalty to the NHL and to the Dallas Stars and was named the local winner.
Picca's winning entry detailed his dedication to the Stars, including the fact that he owns a Jeep that is painted in Stars green and gold. His loyal following of every Stars game was chronicled, including staying until the very end of the five overtime game against Anaheim last April and still making it to school on time early the next morning. Picca even held his own personal banner raising ceremony in his room after the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999.
The NHL 7th Man will be chosen from among the 30 local winners by an expert panel that includes NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman; actress/entertainer Whoopi Goldberg; ABC and CBC hockey analyst John Davidson; ESPN announcer Linda Cohn; TSN hockey analyst Pierre McGuire; actor/comedian/hockey enthusiast Denis Leary; and last year's winner, Roger Farina, a New York Islanders fan and U.S. Army helicopter pilot who was given leave while serving in Iraq to accept the inaugural honor.
Additional information on the 7th Man Contest, including the official rules, can be found on NHL.com.