Gilmour is simply a better and more well rounded player than Hull, a one-way right wing who can still light up a scoreboard—he had 72 points in 66 games for the St. Louis Blues in 1997-98—but who hasn't had 50 goals in four years. Against the Detroit Red Wings in the second round of this year's playoffs, Hull, 33, vanished, finishing with one point in six games. Gilmour, who played for the New Jersey Devils for the last 1¼ seasons, also has been ineffective in recent springs. But during the 1993 and '94 postseasons the slender center wore himself down to Kate Moss dimensions and practically willed the Toronto Maple Leafs into the semis. Gilmour, 35, is still capable of averaging close to a point a game. Some consolation prize.
The more intriguing question is not how Gilmour will fill the void at center in Chicago but how Hull, who left St. Louis after a decade because the Blues wouldn't give him a no-trade clause, will mesh with Dallas. High-scoring center Mike Modano will welcome the help with an offense that sputtered in the playoffs, but general manager Bob Gainey and coach Ken Hitchcock have always demanded diligence as much as goals. The Stars play like a team on which everybody scored 1,300 on the SAT, and, while Hull is charming, irreverent and a first-class hoot, he's not exactly hockey's most cerebral player. Hitchcock, a publicly charming man but a nag with his players, will have his patience—and his system—tested by a nonchalant sniper who wore out six coaches with the Blues. They know a lot about guns in Texas. Now they get an up-close look at a loose cannon.
Coming out of Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic High three years ago, Dan Kendra—a kid with a Jeff George arm and Randall Cunningham legs—was supposed to be Florida State's next great quarterback. There was something special about Kendra, beyond the otherworldly athleticism that had accounted for 8,026 all-purpose yards in high school. He drove a motorcycle and owned a pet alligator. Once, for a newspaper photo, he dyed his entire body green. But with last week's announcement that Kendra will miss the upcoming season because of a torn ACL in his right knee, his once-promising college career may be over.
After redshirting as a freshman in '95 and backing up starter Thad Busby for two seasons, Kendra, 22, was supposed to step into the spotlight this fall. Then a few things happened.
•April 1996: While leg-pressing 1,335 pounds during spring workouts, a Seminoles team record, Kendra burst blood vessels in both eyes.
•April 4, 1998: As he released a pass in the third quarter of the Garnet & Gold, Florida State's annual intrasquad scrimmage, Kendra was hit by linebacker Bradley Jennings. His right knee was crushed, and he suffered the ACL injury.
•June 1: While trying, he says, to concoct a firecracker out of aluminum foil and household chemicals in his off-campus apartment, Kendra caused an explosion. Cut on the nose, chest and stomach, he received 12 stitches. Explained Mark Richt, the Seminoles' quarterbacks coach: "He's always dreamed of being a Navy SEAL." No charges were filed, and Kendra later disputed newspaper reports that he was trying to build a bomb.
•July 2: Saying, "I want to heal my knee back to 100 percent so I can perform like Dan Kendra can perform," Dan Kendra announced his decision to sit out the '98 season and apply to the NCAA for another redshirt year. In the last 10 years Florida State has had two athletes appeal for a sixth year. Both were rejected.