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20 Years After The Stars' Move To Dallas, Hockey Flourishes In Football Country

Jim Lites

This season marks the 20th anniversary of the Dallas Stars coming to town. In that time, the team’s won a Stanley Cup and helped develop a generation of kids who play hockey in Cowboys country. In our Friday Conversation, Dallas Stars President and CEO Jim Lites talks about the team’s impact on North Texas.

Interview Highlights: Jim Lites On ...

... Mike Modano's impact on the organization: "Certainly Mike Modano is on the level with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Dirk Nowitzki and Roger Staubach - iconic athletes who represented their sport really well."

... NHL players participating in the Winter Olympics: "I'm not a big fan. I understand why it's important to the players, because they love to play for their countries in these kinds of exhibitions and it's a big deal. Selfishly, however, I think that it's not a good message to our fans to stop play in the middle of the season, to have a tournament that doesn't benefit the NHL or our players. Quite frankly, we take all the risk of injury associated with losing the players, and the Olympics have always been, for me at least, an exciting time for amateurs to play."

... kids in North Texas playing hockey because of being exposed to the Stars: "It's probably our greatest legacy. ... We've turned it into a hockey town. It's pretty great."

Stephen Becker is senior producer of the Think show , which airs on more than 25 stations across Texas and beyond. Prior to joining the Think team in 2013, as part of the Art&Seek team, Stephen produced radio and digital stories and hosted "The Big Screen" — a weekly radio segment about North Texas film — with Chris Vognar. His 2011 story about the history of eight-track tapes was featured nationally on NPR's All Things Considered. His works has been recognized with numerous state and national awards.