Dallas Assistant Coach Stu Barnes turns 39 today.
I've always liked Stu Barnes. I think it has a lot to do with him starting his career out on my favorite team, the Winnipeg Jets. My memory of exactly what happened back then is a little hazy, but I seem to recall that Jets GM Mike Smith was convinced Barnes could never hack it in the NHL, and he had Barnes planted firmly at 5th on the Jets depth chart at center.
Before the 1993-94 season, Smith had Barnes and Aaron Ward under team control. By the end of November, Smith had turned them into...Randy Gilhen and Paul Ysebaert, who ultimately left him with nothing to show for two young players who would play another 1700 NHL games between them.
Barnes proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had the skills to play in the NHL and proved the naysayers wrong.
To everyone: have a festive December 25th, whether you celebrate the day off with Christmas presents or with Chinese food and a movie!