Lehtonen lost his helmet as he fell back into the goal after the hard hit.
"Obviously, not good," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said after Dallas' 4-3 win. "[Haula] went in hard, [Lehtonen] hit the crossbar hard. Likelihood, it's a concussion on just a dirty play. He should be suspended.
"Fourth-liner takes out our goaltender."
In Lehtonen's place, Tim Thomas made his Stars debut and stopped all six shots he faced. They acquired him from the Florida Panthers in a trade at Wednesday's deadline. Minnesota was leading 3-2 at the time.
Haula received 15 minutes in penalties, a major for charging plus a game misconduct.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Haula was given a major penalty for charging and was ejected. Tyler Seguin scored during the 5-minute power play to tie the game 3-3.
Four minutes later, Cole picked up a loose puck at center ice and beat goalie Darcy Kuemper.
Before the game, the Stars retired Mike Modano's No. 9 in front of a Dallas-record crowd of 19,109.
DALLAS -- It was as if a slice of Hollywood came to American Airlines Center on Saturday night, complete with a long, Victory Green carpet and glittering stars.
That's really the only way to send Mike Modano's No. 9 to the rafters, isn't it?
It was Modano, after all, who made hockey the thing to do in Dallas. It wasn't just Modano's speed, skill and good looks that made fans -- and the famous folks -- want to see the Stars as they became one of the best teams in hockey in the late 1990s. It was that he was willing to teach the game, too, to a group of football fans who weren't sure what to make of it. Modano was out in the public eye, signing autographs and talking up hockey, hoping to help grow the game in Dallas.
He did. And he won a Stanley Cup in the process, forever immortalizing that 1999 team in Dallas hockey history. That group -- 20 of them in all -- was on hand Saturday to see Modano's No. 9 hoisted to the roof. Derian Hatcher, the captain of that team, even brought the Stanley Cup out. But that team meant the most to Modano. Many of those players were his teammates for years, building the unit into one that managed to win crucial Game 7s on the way to the game's ultimate prize.
"The impact those guys made on this town and that team and on me, a lot of those guys pushed hard on me and made sure I showed up injured and hurt and played through it," Modano said. "They taught me a lot about winning."
Modano's first roommate in the NHL was there. So were some of his coaches and general managers. Former Stars owner Tom Hicks, who received a mixture of boos and cheers, was also there, and Modano made it a point to thank him. While the financial troubles of Hicks' company caused him to lose ownership of the Texas Rangers and Stars, he also spent the money needed to bring top players to Dallas and assemble that Cup team.
"We wouldn’t have won that Stanley Cup if it wasn’t for Tom Hicks," Modano said.
Former GM Bob Gainey credited Modano for selling the sport in Texas. And Modano's former teammates heaped him with praise for what he did on and off the ice.
It was a classy night that included a brief appearance by some of the biggest names in DFW sports -- retired Ranger Michael Young, Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, former Mavs star Rolando Blackman, former Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.
Give Dan Stuchal, Stars vice president of business development, credit for putting together an event that showcased how big a star Modano is in this town and also allowed him to thank those who helped him along the way.
It was well done, and well deserved for Modano.
As the videos played throughout the arena, I was thinking how fortunate I was to have covered so many of his great moments. He was a rare superstar who never acted like one. He always enjoyed ribbing me about anything -- something I wrote, something I wore, something I said -- and he had no problem with me ribbing him back. That made chronicling his hockey exploits a lot more fun.
Fans were lucky to see Modano play here. And Modano was lucky, too. He became a star in a city that reveres its winners. Sports are a huge part of this community, and while hockey isn't football, Modano made it fun.
Now every fan who walks into American Airlines Center will see his No. 9 hanging there. That's as it should be.
DALLAS -- No Dallas Stars player will ever wear the No. 9 again.
The number, forever connected with the speedy and skilled Mike Modano, was raised to the rafters on Saturday night, the fourth number in the franchise's history to be so honored. The other three were more Minnesota North Stars numbers than Dallas. Most of Modano's career, including his Stanley Cup win in 1999, was spent in Dallas.
"From the moment I got off that plane in 1993, Dallas felt like home," Modano told a sold-out crowd of 19,109 at American Airlines Center during an hour-long ceremony Saturday prior to the Stars' 4-3 win against, the Minnesota Wild. "You've allowed me to be a part of your lives and you to mine. It's been an amazing ride. It couldn't have been done without you people.
"We asked you to give us a chance and you stuck with us and for that, I'm grateful."
Modano was emotional even before he got up to speak. He watched, nervously from the tunnel, as several prominent guests made their way to the stage at center ice and talked about Modano's hockey career and what he meant to the sport in Texas.
In one of the videos that Modano narrated about his hockey life, he says: "Now people ask me where I'm from and I say, Texas -- Dallas, Texas."
Kassian received a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for the hit in the first period of the Stars' 6-1 victory Thursday over the Canucks.
Kassian has been suspended before for high-sticking and is considered a repeat offender.
The suspension will cost him $32,104.
Vancouver's Zac Dalpe scored at 18:15 of the second period.
Dallas solidified its hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, improving to 9-3-2 in their last 14 goals.
The fading Canucks, 11th in the West, dropped to 1-10-1 in their last 12 and fell four points behind Dallas.
This is the guy who made hockey cool in Dallas as many fans were just trying to figure out what they were watching. This is the guy who knew how daunting the task was the moment he arrived from puck-mad Minnesota two decades ago.
Sure, Jamie Benn or Tyler Seguin could be the one leading the Stars back to championship contention one of these days. But after Saturday, any return to glory will come under Modano's number hanging in the rafters.
"The only difference is I was 22, 23 coming into a town that didn't know anything about hockey," Modano told The Associated Press.
"So I grew up with this town, with the sport, so people couldn't relate to the sport without relating to a few of us in the same sense. And having the success that our team did and individually that I was able to have, those opportunities and those scenarios don't get played out too often in many cities or organizations."
It'll be a pretty rare party Saturday when the Stars play Minnesota, where Modano started his career as a No. 1 pick before the North Stars moved south in 1993, replaced by the expansion Wild seven years later.
There are 53 names on the "green carpet" list for the pregame festivities, many of them former teammates who beat Buffalo for the franchise's only Stanley Cup in 1999 and lost in the finals a year later to New Jersey.
This is an extended version of a story that appears in ESPN The Magazine's March 17 Conspiracy Issue. Subscribe today!
NOW IN HIS fourth season in the NHL, Stars center Tyler Seguin, 22, has made a name for himself as one of the league's most consistent and most consistently hardworking players. Through the Olympic break, he had 24 goals and 32 assists, putting him among the few point-per-game players, and, as he told The Mag, every home game ends with a workout. We chatted with the former NHL All-Star and Stanley Cup champ about his work ethic on and off the ice.
Craig Custance: What do you do during the season to maintain your physique?
Tyler Seguin: We practice pretty much every day, so there's only so much training you can do during the season. But after every home game, I work out. It's not an overbearing workout: a couple squats, a bit of core, activation of the glutes, some situps, a little upper body. It's toning, so every muscle gets burned.
Custance: Have you always been that diligent after games?
Seguin: When I was a rookie in Boston, it was mandatory, and I just stuck with it. The best time to work your muscles is when you're tired. Plus, after home games, you're not rushing to get on the bus or the plane.
Forget the long-term impact losing the first-round pick might have, or what conditions must be met to upgrade that third-rounder into a second. Here's a look at which way a few of the most active teams are moving during the stretch run with the deadline wrapped up.
New York Rangers: UP
We love Ryan Callahan. He’s a guy you win with. But in the here and now, Martin St. Louis can impact a game in ways that Callahan doesn’t. There are currently only five players who have scored more goals than St. Louis has this season and he has consistently been one of the game’s top point producers. The Rangers are at No. 19 in the league in scoring, averaging 2.54 goals per game. Adding St. Louis will help that. He's been on a bit of a hot streak and his even-strength PDO, which is a shooting percentage metric that measures luck, is at 103.2. That stat usually regresses to 100 over time, so he might not keep this pace. But he's the ultimate competitor and knows people will be watching to see how he handles the transition to New York after strong-arming his way out of Tampa. A driven Martin St. Louis is someone you want on your side, and his addition helps close the gap that existed between the Rangers and the East's two best teams in Boston and Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia Flyers: DOWN
GM Paul Homgren was in on Ryan Kesler but ultimately there wasn’t a deal to be made with Vancouver. He would have been a fantastic addition to the Flyers and would have moved them into that next tier in the East. Instead, the Flyers focused on addressing their defense by adding Andrew MacDonald, whom we like for his warrior mentality and fearlessness in blocking shots. But his advanced stats suggest he’s not a guy who helps drive possession. According to ExtraSkater.com, the Flyers are at No. 22 in the league with only 48.9 percent of their shots headed at the opposing goalie at even strength. Adding MacDonald doesn’t help there. When he was on the ice at even strength with the Islanders only 43.4 percent of the shots were headed the right way. It gives him more shots to block but that’s a dangerous way for a team to live. He won’t be asked to do as much with the Flyers, which should help his effectiveness.
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FRISCO, Texas-- Mike Modano has aged, though you can't really tell it by looking at him.
That young kid with the broad smile and the ability to skate circles around nearly anyone on the ice is sitting at a Starbucks on a chilly February morning not too far from Dr Pepper StarCenter, where another group of young kids is practicing and pushing to try to make the postseason.
Modano looks as though all he'd have to do is lace up the skates and he could play today. He's still in terrific shape -- even a more-than-occasional latte hasn't changed that. And he talks about the game like he never left.
"Maybe I'd still be playing if I hadn't gotten hurt," Modano said.
You can tell he believes it. But a wrist injury shortened his one year in Detroit at the end of his career, and Modano wasn't ready to try to rehab and go through an entire offseason to try to return.
Watching and listening to him as he sips his coffee, you can tell there's more wisdom than youth now in the 43-year-old Modano's life. Kids will do that to you. Modano and his wife, Allison, are preparing for twins a few months from now.
"I can't wait," Modano said. "Part of me always had a hard time thinking I could have kids and play hockey. I didn't want any distractions or outside things to affect me. I don't know if that was a selfish thing, but I thought when hockey ended that I'd have kids."
Ellis was shaky early for the Stars filling in for Lehtonen on the second night of a back-to-back in a 4-2 loss to Columbus on Tuesday. He is 5-6 with a 3.04 goals-against average.
The Stars added a veteran three years removed from winning the Stanley Cup as they try to end a five-year postseason drought. Dallas started the day holding the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Thomas had a 2.97 goals-against average in 40 starts for the Panthers after sitting out last season. He helped lead Boston to the Stanley Cup in 2011.
The suspicion was that this could be an especially active trade deadline. On Tuesday, it delivered, with a huge deal that sent Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers. The beauty of that trade? It leaves us with so much to talk about on the final day of the trade deadline.
Here are the latest notes and buzz on the trade front:
• Thomas Vanek of the Islanders remains the biggest rental piece on the market, yet there doesn’t seem to be a huge appetite among the contenders to pay GM Garth Snow's asking price -- at least not when I checked around Tuesday night. When Vanek didn’t play Tuesday night, there were rumors that a deal was close at hand. The Sharks, Kings, Ducks and Red Wings all were cool on Vanek at that time, so if a deal was close, they probably weren’t the destination.
That all can change the moment the asking price comes down, because when general managers say they aren’t thrilled with a player, it’s often a reflection of what it will cost rather than his ability.
“When we say we don’t like someone, we don’t like the situation,” said one GM on Tuesday. “By maxing [Vanek] out of the market, teams might have cooled if you have to give up a first[-round pick] and a prospect to get him and you don’t know if you can sign him.”
• That’s the other factor with Vanek. Teams considering acquiring him aren’t optimistic that doing so would give them any advantage when it comes to re-signing him, especially with the way it's ending with the Islanders.
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Columbus climbed into a tie for seventh with the Rangers in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets have won three in a row and are vying for only their second postseason appearance since joining the league in 2000.
Columbus scored on the first shot of the game and bolted to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Boone Jenner, R.J. Umberger and Anisimov against back-up Dan Ellis. Ellis was shaky early in making his first appearance since Feb. 1.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves, one on an open shot by Jamie Benn with 5 minutes left with the Blue Jackets clinging to a one-goal lead. Bobrovsky solidly tracked loose pucks near the crease the entire game to improve to 5-0-1 against Dallas.
Is there an NHL GM who goes about his business more quietly than Anaheim's Bob Murray?
The architect of the NHL's top team at the quarter pole this season was at it again Tuesday, sending big winger Dustin Penner to Washington for a fourth-round pick, which the Ducks then turned around and sent to Dallas in exchange for veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas. (The pick sent to Dallas could become a third-rounder if Robidas plays 50 percent of the team's playoff games and the Ducks reach the Western Conference finals.)
The Ducks are awash in forwards but were in need of some defensive depth.
Robidas is a calculated risk.
The veteran defender broke his leg in a grisly incident in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks in late November and is just now back taking full practice. But assuming Robidas, who turned 37 on Monday, can stay healthy, he adds a nice element to a blue line that features emerging young stars Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm, along with veterans Francois Beauchemin and solid Ben Lovejoy.
The Ducks began play Tuesday with the best record in the NHL. If there was a perceived weaknesses in terms of being able to translate their regular-season success into a long playoff run in the spring, it was in terms of their experience and defensive depth.
With Sheldon Souray gone for the season with a wrist injury, Robidas has the potential to be a difference-maker as the playoffs move along.
Originally a Montreal draft pick, Robidas has been the poster boy for perseverance. He is among the NHL's toughest players and has routinely played through significant injuries. Since coming to Dallas in 2005-06, Robidas has been one of the most popular players in the Stars' dressing room. Robidas will skate with the team in Anaheim on Thursday and is expected to play within one or two weeks.
He will no doubt fit seamlessly into the Ducks' locker room.
The Ducks were a busy team Tuesday, as they also alleviated some of the logjam that had developed at the goaltender position by sending Viktor Fasth to the Edmonton Oilers for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in 2015, which is an excellent return for a goaltender who has played little this season due to injury.
On the other side of the Robidas trade is Dallas GM Jim Nill, who is in his first year behind the helm of the Stars. His squad has played extremely well of late and as of Tuesday afternoon occupied the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
A playoff spot is by no means secure, however, and Nill's decision to move Robidas, who can become an unrestricted free agent in July, suggests that as much as making the playoffs is a priority for Nill so, too, is making sure the team is well-positioned moving forward.
The Stars have missed the playoffs five straight seasons. In some of those seasons, the Stars have come achingly close to qualifying for the postseason, only to fall out of it in the final days of the regular season. In 2011, for instance, they lost their final regular-season game, which cost them a playoff berth. A year later, they slumped down the stretch and lost control of the Pacific Division and a playoff spot. In the lockout-shortened 2013 season, they were winless in their final five games of the season to see any shot at a postseason berth disappear.
Could the same thing happen this season?
Would Robidas have helped secure a postseason spot? Sure. But it seems clear Nill does not want to find himself on the outside of the playoff bubble and then watch as assets walk out the door.
Does this suggest then that Nill be looking to move Ray Whitney or Vernon Fiddler, both of whom can become unrestricted free agents this summer?
Perhaps, especially if Nill might be able to land a player with some term on his contract in exchange or in a separate deal.
Robidas was acquired from the Dallas Stars for a conditional fourth-round pick that could become a third-rounder if he plays in 50 percent of the team's playoff games and the Ducks reach the Western Conference finals.
The 37-year-old Robidas has played in 24 games for Dallas this season, posting five points (4-1-5). He has not appeared in a game since breaking his leg on Nov. 29 against Chicago. Robidas ranks seventh in team history with 704 games played spanning two stints with the club (2002-04, 2005-14).
"Stephane is the consummate professional," Stars general manager Jim Nill said. "He has set a great example for our young core, not only when he was playing, but in his recovery as well. We want to wish Stephane and his family the best and thank him for all that he's done in his time here."
The Ducks (43-14-5) sent Fasth to the Edmonton Oilers for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in '15. The 31-year-old Fasth took the league by storm last season, when he went 15-6 with a 2.18 goals-against average. He has been limited to five games this season because of a lower-body injury, going 2-2-1 with a 2.95 GAA.