By the time you read this, the Stanley Cup Finals will probably be over. In that final matchup, the Tampa Bay Lightning faced the Dallas Stars. Once upon a time, the Dallas Stars were known as the Minnesota North Stars. They moved in the early ‘90s, but don’t fret. Minnesota got an expansion team in the 2000s, the Minnesota Wild. Yes, that is a terrible name, but somehow their primary logo is even worse! However, the North Stars still existed when The Mighty Ducks came out. Naturally, in a hockey movie there had to be a cameo from a couple of NHL players. In the movie, they go to a North Stars game, so naturally they figured they should have players from that team in the film. This led to the movie career of Basil McRae.
I am delighted by the fact Basil McRae is in The Mighty Ducks. To be fair, he’s in the film alongside Mike Modano. Modano’s appearance makes sense. He’s a Hall of Famer, maybe the best American player of all-time. Modano was a star then, and he’s a star now. McRae, though? I loved hockey in the ‘90s (and still love it now, which is why I am writing this article) and I had never heard of McRae. To be fair, I didn’t really get into the NHL until the playoffs of the 1993-94 season. He was technically still in the NHL, but he barely played and was retired by the end of the 1996-97 season. That being said, McRae was never a good player. In his best season, he scored 12 goals and added 19 assists. In his entire NHL career he scored 53 goals. During McRae’s career, Teemu Selanne scored 76 goals in his rookie season. Granted, Selanne is a Hall of Famer, but that gives you a frame of reference.
And yet, McRae is in The Mighty Ducks. He has lines. The kids are excited to meet up. Well, I suppose I would have been too when I was a kid. Like, if I had been taken to a Red Wings game in, say, 1996 and met, say, Jamie Pushor, I still probably would have said, “Wow! Jamie Pushor!” Also, in addition to being an obscure reference, we can’t overlook the fact his name is “Basil McRae.” That’s just delightful.
McRae never played in Dallas. He left the North Stars before the move. However, he also played briefly for the Lightning. Which team did McRae root for during the Stanley Cup Finals? I don’t know. All I know is that the kids on the Ducks were stoked to meet him (and Mike Modano) many years ago.