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Nashville South Stars

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The Nashville South Stars were a professional ice hockey team in the Central Hockey League for the 1981-82 season. It had been 10 years since Nashville's last hockey team, the Dixie Flyers, played as part of the Eastern Hockey League.

The South Stars were founded by Larry Schmittou, who was a principal owner of the Nashville Sounds minor-league baseball team. The team played at Municipal Auditorium, whose seating configuration was such that spectators seated more than a row back in the seats that were above and behind the goal lines could not see the nets.

The team was the top affiliate of the Minnesota North Stars of the National Hockey League and was coached by Gene Ubriaco, who would later coach the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL.

Though goaltender Don Beaupre made one start for the South Stars in an injury rehab appearance, the only regular member of the team to make any kind of dent in the NHL was center Warren Young. He wound up with Ubriaco and the Penguins and benefited one season from the assist-making of Mario Lemieux. But after one 50-goal season, Young quickly faded into obscurity.

Perhaps the two most notable other members of the team were Mike Antonovich, a former Minnesota high school hero who had a stint in the World Hockey Association, and Bob Suter, a defenseman on the Miracle on Ice U.S. gold-medal team in the 1980 Olympic Games. His son, Ryan Suter, was the first-round draft choice of the NHL's Nashville Predators in 2003.

The South Stars finished with a 41-35-4-86 313-319 record, good for fourth place in the Northern Division. They reached the CHL playoffs, but lost in the first round to the Wichita Wind.

The Nashville South Stars only lasted for one season in the CHL. The Nashville South Stars joined the Atlantic Coast Hockey League for the 1982-83 season and the franchise folded soon after.

South Stars who played in the NHLEdit

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