Forgotten anniversaries: A hockey high with the 1982-83 North Stars

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 17, 2013 - 1:38 AM

Other North Stars teams had greater playoff success, but the 1983 version had their best regular season in Minnesota.


Neal Broten, right, and Dino Ciccarelli were a productive scoring duo for a well-balanced 1982-83 North Stars team.

Photo: File photo by David Brewster •,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Plenty of Minnesota sports anniversaries and years are embedded in our collective sports minds. Merely mention 1987, 1991 or 1998, for example, and the Twins’ two World Series titles plus the Vikings’ 15-1 season spring immediately to mind. But what about some lesser-known anniversaries? We’re here to take a look back at some of those, in increments of five years, dating backward from 2013. Today: The 1982-83 North Stars — and five things you might have forgotten about that team.


1 The North Stars played 26 seasons in Minnesota. They twice advanced to the Stanley Cup Final while the franchise was here, losing both times. But they never had a better regular-season record than they did in 1982-83, when they won 40 games and had 96 points.

2 The season, though, was not without its turmoil. Coach Glen Sonmor, who took over during the 1978-79 season, resigned midway through the season to confront his alcohol addiction, something he has discussed at length publicly since that time. Murray Oliver took over and the North Stars went 18-12-7 under him to close out the regular season.


3 The North Stars opened the playoffs by defeating Toronto 3-1 in the best-of-five division semifinals, but they had to face division-winning Chicago in the best-of-seven next round. Trailing 2-1 in the series and facing a pivotal Game 4 at the Met Center, the North Stars fell 4-3 in overtime and ended up losing the series in five games. Symmetry: 30 years later, the Wild lost to the Blackhawks in five games.

4 Ready for some names from the past? That year’s team had incredibly balanced scoring with four players totaling between 75 and 77 points to lead the way and three more inching up into the 60s. The top four: Neal Broten, Bobby Smith, Tom McCarthy and Dino Ciccarelli. Don Beaupre and Gilles Meloche split the goaltending duties. It’s not possible to have two men who sound like they should be goalies based on their names more than those two.


5 Strangely enough, the team’s leading scorers in the playoffs were both defensemen: Brad Maxwell and Craig Hartsburg, who tied for the lead with 11 points in the team’s nine playoff games. Maxwell had five goals in the postseason after getting only 11 in the regular season.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60


question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters