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24 years later and we’re still forced to ask ourselves, should Brett Hull’s goal have counted?

In the realm of professional sports, there are moments that etch themselves into the annals of history, capturing the hearts of fans and forever shaping the sport's narrative. One such moment unfolded on June 19, 1999, during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Dallas Stars and the Buffalo Sabres. It was a fateful night when Brett Hull, a United States hockey hall-of-famer known for his goal-scoring prowess, etched his name into hockey immortality with an unforgettable, controversy-shrouded goal that secured the championship for the Stars.

Gene Puskar/AP File Photo


The 1998-99 NHL season had been an arduous journey for both the Dallas Stars and the Buffalo Sabres. As the series reached its climax, tensions were high, and the fate of the Stanley Cup hung in the balance. With Dallas leading the series 3 games to 2, Game 6 in Buffalo would prove to be a pivotal encounter.

With just about 5 minutes remaining in triple overtime, tied 1-1, the Stars found themselves on the offensive. A scramble in front of the Sabres' net ensued, and amidst the chaos, Brett Hull managed to seize the opportunity. He corralled the loose puck and unleashed a quick shot that found its way past the outstretched Sabres goaltender, Dominik Hasek, and into the back of the net. The Buffalo crowd erupted in disbelief as the Stars celebrated what appeared to be the game-winning, and series-winning goal.

However, amidst the Stars’ elation, confusion reigned supreme on the Sabres bench and in the stands. The series-winning goal raised a contentious issue surrounding the interpretation of NHL rules. According to the league's regulations at the time, a player's skate could not be in the crease before the puck entered the net. Replays showed that Hull's skate was, indeed, in the crease when he scored. The Buffalo Sabres vehemently protested, arguing that the goal should be disallowed.


After a lengthy review, the officials controversially upheld the goal, declaring the Stanley Cup to be in the hands of the Dallas Stars. The decision sparked fierce debates and stirred emotions among fans and hockey enthusiasts. It also led to a subsequent rule change in the NHL, commonly referred to as the "Brett Hull rule," which stipulated that a player could be in the crease as long as they did not have control of the puck.

Brett Hull's goal in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals transcended mere controversy; it became an indelible part of hockey folklore. While opinions may differ on the validity of the goal, there is no denying the impact it had on the game and the enduring memory it left behind. The goal not only secured the first-ever Stanley Cup for the Dallas Stars but also propelled Brett Hull to legendary status. His name became synonymous with clutch performances and highlighted the fine margins that can define sporting moments.

Brett Hull's 1999 Stanley Cup winning goal stands as a testament to the excitement and unpredictability of professional hockey. It showcases the enduring spirit of the sport, where moments of brilliance and controversy intertwine to create legends. Regardless of one's stance on the call, there is no denying the lasting impact of Hull's goal and its place in hockey history. It remains an iconic chapter in the annals of the NHL, forever etched in the memories of fans as one of the most dramatic and unforgettable moments in the pursuit of the Stanley Cup.


Brett Hull's series winning goal still continues to divide hockey fans to this day. However, mostly everyone outside of Texas agrees that the goal should've been disallowed. But here we are, 24 years later, still having the conversation.

If you'd like a more in-depth review of the goal and the entire 1999 Stanley Cup Finals as a whole, check out this incredibly well made video below.


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