He wasn’t flashy or well-known. You really never saw his name up in lights. However, you can’t deny the impact Jere Lehtinen made on the ice.
Lehtinen was a quiet star who didn’t need the spotlight; he just went about his business. The right wing from Finland appeared in 875 regular season games, scoring 242 goals with 271 assists. He also won the 1999 Stanley Cup with the Stars.
Lehtinen raised his game in the playoffs. Appearing in 108 games, He had 27 goals and 22 assists, equaling out to 49 points in the postseason. Lehtinen was the one with the assist to Brett Hull in the Cup-clinching goal against Buffalo in Game Six. That play probably best describes his game, quietly doing whatever it takes to win.
He is among the Stars all-time leaders in many franchise categories. Among the most impressive stats is the 37 game-winning goals, which is 3rd best in franchise history. Lehtinen is also 8th in all-time scoring with 514 total points. He could play a little defense as well, winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times as the league’s best defensive forward.
Lehtinen decided to retire after battling injuries for the past three seasons. His play over the years did not go unnoticed, as Stars fans gave him a standing ovation during the game against Carolina. It was an emotional two minutes for Lehtinen while the crowd cheered on.
That’s the kind of impact Jere Lehtinen made.
Written by C. James