Brad Lukowich (D) 2009-2010
Philip Larsen (D) 2010-2012
Brad Lukowich (D)
Cranbrook, British Columbia
Stars Debut: October 2, 2009 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 163 GP, 71 Points (11 Goals, 60 Assists), 109 PIMs
Brad Lukowich is well known amongst Texas Stars fans, but not for wearing the No. 36. The Cranbrook, British Columbia native spent over 98% of his Stars career wearing No. 37, but it wasn’t the first number he wore for Texas. We will cover Lukowich’s full hockey career in our next article, but let’s quickly examine why he wasn’t wearing No. 37 from the start.
He was in the final year of a three-year contract, having been traded by the San Jose Sharks to the Vancouver Canucks on August 28, 2009 along with defenseman Christian Erhoff in exchange for prospects Daniel Rahimi and Patrick White, when he was loaned by Vancouver to Texas on October 3, 2009. Lukowich made his Stars AHL debut that night at Cedar Park Center wearing No. 36 and assisted on Greg Rallo’s overtime winning goal with 15 seconds left in the extra session to beat the San Antonio Rampage 3-2. Shortly after Lukowich made his Stars debut, goaltender Brent Krahn went to head equipment manager Brian “Elvis” Garcia and suggested a dual number change, a sign a respect to the veteran NHL defenseman. Krahn offered to give No. 37 to Lukowich and move into No. 41 instead. Their swap wasn’t instantaneous, though, as new jerseys had to be ordered, produced and shipped. So both players remained in their respective numbers for two more games. Lukowich’s last game in the No. 36 jersey, which was Krahn’s last in the No. 37, was on October 10, 2009 at Houston, where he scored his first goal in a Stars uniform, the team’s only goal in a 2-1 shootout loss.
On October 15, 2009 against Grand Rapids, both players debuted their new numbers and the rest, as they say, is history.
Philip Larsen (D)
Stars Debut: October 10, 2010 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 66 GP, 32 Points (5 Goals, 27 Assists), 18 PIMs
Philip Larsen was the second player, and most recent, to wear the No. 36 jersey for the Texas Stars, while also holding the distinction for wearing the number for more games than anyone else in franchise history. The Esjerg, Denmark native was drafted by Dallas in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Stars on April 20, 2009. Larsen had been playing for both junior and senior level teams in Sweden since the 2005-06 season, making his first pro appearance as a junior-aged player for Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League, then known as the Elitserien, during the 2006-07 campaign. He also represented Denmark internationally at the IIHF U-18 and U-20 World Championships on a combined five different occasions, the Olympic Games qualifiers in 2009 and four IIHF World Championships (2009, 2010, 2012 & 2013). Larsen’s final season with Frolunda came in 2009-10, and after the team’s Elitserien season came to an end, he was recalled to Dallas where he made his NHL Debut on April 8, 2010 vs. Anaheim.
He was assigned to the Texas Stars after training camp and made his AHL debut wearing the No. 36 jersey on October 10, 2010 at San Antonio. Larsen notched his first career AHL point with an assist in a 5-4 overtime win over the Rampage on October 16, 2010 at Cedar Park Center and less than two weeks later he was recalled to Dallas to play on October 28, 2010 against the Los Angeles Kings. He would go back-and-forth between Texas and Dallas two more times, playing in five more NHL games in December and January. On January 15, 2011 Larsen scored his first career AHL goal, his first pro goal in North America, in a 3-1 win at Peoria. Late in the regular season he scored his first career game-winning goal, finding the net just 38 seconds into overtime on April 1, 2011 to beat the Chicago Wolves 3-2. Larsen played in all six Calder Cup Playoff games against the Milwaukee Admirals, leading all Texas defenseman and ranking third on the team with five points (2 goals, 3 assists).
Larsen made the Dallas Stars 2011-12 opening night roster and played in three NHL games before being assigned to Texas on October 14, 2011. In his third AHL game of the season he tied two franchise records for most assists and points in a single game with four assists on October 22, 2011 in a 6-5 overtime win over Peoria; Travis Morin also tied the single-game points record with a goal and three assists. Larsen only played in 12 games for Texas that year, putting up an impressive 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists), and after playing two AHL games for the Stars in late January, he held down an NHL roster spot for the remainder of the season.
After the Stars: During the 2012-13 NHL Lockout, Larsen played in Finland for Lukko of the SM-liiga, returned to Dallas and playing in 32 games during the shortened NHL season. After the NHL regular season ended, he played for Denmark at the 2013 IIHF World Championship in Sweden and Finland, where he had two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in six games. On July 5, 2013 Larsen was traded to the Edmonton Oilers, along with a seventh round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, in exchange for center Shawn Horcoff.