When the Detroit Red Wings signed former Dallas Stars captain Derian Hatcher, I was extremely excited, but it would be one of the biggest flop free agent signings in Ken Hollands’ career.
Hatcher had a fantastic career with the Stars organization. His first two NHL seasons’ were spent in Minnesota with the North Stars, the next year the organization pulled out of Minnesota and headed south to Dallas.
Derian Hatcher was the 8th overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Level Draft. He was the perfect defenseman for the 1990s. He was a big physical defender who loved to play with a nasty edge. He didn’t have the highlight reel open ice hits like Scott Stevens, but if you dared go to the net posting up in front of goaltender Ed Belfour, Hatcher would make you pay dearly. You would think twice about that job description the next time.
Hatcher wore the “C” in Dallas from 1995 until his departure in 2003 when another former Wing who could be on this list, Mike Modano succeeded him. Hatcher won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Stars in 1999.
He was born in Sterling Heights, Michigan and we all know how much Ken Holland loves signing local products. He decided to bring in the intimidating 6’5, 250-pound defender to help anchor the back-end for his hometown Detroit Red Wings.
Hatcher signed a five-year 30-million dollar deal with the Wings. He only played 15 games as a member of the Detroit Red Wings recording just four points. A knee injury limited Hatcher for the majority of the season. The next year there would be no NHL because of a lockout. The following year the Wings decided to buyout Hatcher as a part of the new cap era NHL. It would go down as one of Ken Holland’s biggest whiffs.
David Legwand along with Darien Hatcher currently own the Sarnia Sting, an Ontario Hockey League team. Hatcher currently serves as the Sting head coach.