With the 7th pick in the 1985 entry draft the New York Rangers selected Ulf Dahlen. Many of us Sharks fans remember Ulf as the guy with the yellow laces on his skates. He was a sort of John Voigt look-a-like, and a talented RW.
Ulf Dahlen played 966 career games over 14 seasons in the NHL. He accumulated 301 goals and 354 assists for a total of 655 career points. Mostly remembered for his years spent with the Minnesota North Stars who would become the Dallas Stars in 93/94, Dahlen was a fan favorite with the Stars and was voted as so by the fans. His best statistic season came in 92/93 with the North Stars where he put up 35 goals and 39 assists for 74 points that season.
On March 19, 1994 Dahlen was traded to the San Jose Sharks along with a 7th round pick for Doug Zmolek and Mike Lalor. He would accumulate 12 points in the last 13 games of the season for the Sharks as they moved on to the playoffs for the first time. Dahlen was a huge part of the Sharks pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NHL history as they knocked the Detroit Red Wings out of the playoffs in the first round. San Jose went on to lose the next series to Toronto in 7 games after having a 3-2 lead in the series. Ulf put up 6 goals and 2 assists in the first 14 playoff games in Sharks history. San Jose would return the next year as well. Dahlen put up 9 points in the 11 post season games in 94/95 (5 goals, 4 assists) where San Jose knocked off Calgary in 7 games to move on to round 2. San Jose went on only to get swept by Detroit in 4 games where they were outscored 24-7 in those games. After a couple of mediocre seasons, Dahlen would find himself traded once again. On January 25, 1996, San Jose sent goalie Chris Terreri, Michal Sykora, and Ulf Dahlen to Chicago in exchange for goalie Ed Belfour. Dahlen would play 30 games for Chicago and put up 14 points. In 5 playoff games with the Blackhawks that year Dahlen only had 1 assist.
The next 2 seasons Dahlen played in Sweden. Playing for HV 71 Jonokoping he had 2 really good seasons compiling 60 points in 55 games with the team. In 1998 Dahlen played for Sweden in the winter Olympics and had 1 goal as Sweden won the gold that year. In 1999 Ulf was signed as a free agent by the Washington Capitols. He played 3 of his better seasons with the Capitols and over his 3 seasons there he scored 53 goals and added 85 assists. He only managed 2 assists in 11 playoff games though.
In 2002 he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Stars. This would be Dahlen's last season in the NHL. He announced his retirement on September 21, 2003.
Ulf had a pretty good career in the NHL, although never getting to hoist the cup. He was amazing along the boards and almost seemed to skate sideways at times behind the net. A master at controlling the puck Dahlen was able to hold the puck in the zone long enough to set up many goals he never got points for, if only there was a third assist. He will always be remembered by the Sharks faithful for his outstanding efforts in his time spent here in San Jose. The Sharks first two trips to the playoffs would not have been the same without him. Ulf will always be a big part of San Jose Sharks history.
In June of 2006 Ulf Dahlen was hired by the Dallas Stars as an assistant coach, where he remains today.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend ! GO SHARKS !
In case you did not catch my last blog, on Marleau and the captaincy, you can find it here......
Sharks fans I would still like to know your comments on this !