The team was founded during the 1967 NHL expansion as the Minnesota North Stars, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. Before the beginning of the 1978–79 NHL season, the team merged with the Cleveland Barons after the league granted them permission due to each team's respective financial struggles. Ultimately, the franchise relocated to Dallas for the 1993–94 NHL season. The Stars played out of Reunion Arena from their relocation until 2001, when the team moved less than 1.5 miles (2.4 km) into the American Airlines Center.
The Stars have won eight division titles in Dallas, two Presidents' Trophies as the top regular-season team in the league, the Western Conference championship three times, and the Stanley Cup in 1999. Joe Nieuwendyk won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs that year.
In 2000, Neal Broten was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2009, Brett Hull became the first Dallas Stars player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, followed by Ed Belfour and Joe Nieuwendyk in 2011 and Mike Modano in 2014. Mike Modano is the highest-scoring player in franchise history. In 2010, brothers Derian and Kevin Hatcher were inducted to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. The franchise has appeared in the Stanley Cup finals five times (1981, 1991, 1999, 2000, and 2020) and has won one championship (1999).