Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars news, as well as a look at what's happening around the Pacific division and the rest of the NHL. Stargazing will run on Mondays and Thursdays, becoming a daily feature once the preseason begins.
Everyone's favorite Stars topic: Marty Turco. I feel bad for Marty that he's starting to get it this early in August. In an off-season stuffed full of changes for the Stars, he still stands to get the most scrutiny and attention from the media and fans alike heading into the season. Whether that's fair or not...well, maybe you can tell us in the comments. For me personally, he was a big factor in what went on last year, but if I had my way I'd be asking more questions about the defense and the power play than Turco. But I digress. On to the links we go...
Stars News and Notes:
Marty Turco does one of what we can only assume will be many, many interviews about the pressure on him this season, courtesy of Sportingnews.com:
There are plenty of factors that add pressure to a player entering the season. He could be in his contract year. He could be coming off a sub-par season. He could be playing for a new coach. He could play the position most crucial to his teams success...
"I have a family -- three kids now. I turned 34 (Aug. 13) and have one year left on my contract. That's personal. We're human and this is my job," Turco said. "That's pressure different than the arena of sport. I feel fortunate that I don't feel stressed about my personal situation. As competitive and driven as I am, these things seem to take care of themselves."
Last time the Stars missed the playoffs, Marty had a career year the following season, leading them back the post-season. Can he do it again?
Does the confluence of factors (new coach, contract year, struggled last season...) concern you? Or do you think the added motivation will focus him?
"When I decided to play in the KHL for SKA, I hoped that I would play at the same level I did in the NHL - Sergei Zubov said. - Now I think that I have come to the peak of my physical form. I would not like to predict, but I hope that during the season I will conform my former level. The last two weeks I just could not sleep, thinking that my career in many ways is to start all over again. For me and my family to move to Russia was a difficult step. I think I fairly quickly will cope with the tension."
Not exactly the tearful goodbye of a press conference I was hoping for in Dallas at the end of his NHL career, but it beats the crap out of him raising up a Kings or Blues jersey with good old #56 on it in some other NHL building.
Now, the Stars are on a very tight budget and would probably listen to offers that allowed them to move Richards for top prospects so that they could shed his $7.8 million salary (for the next two seasons) and possibly acquire a bigger name defenseman. But, the proposed deal with the Rangers doesn't save them any money...
And he also points out: He has a no trade clause! So if you know a Rangers fans, please, let them know.
NHL.com focused on the Stars the other day, and asked Crawford and Nieuwendyk for a generic answer about Marty Turco:
Nieuwendyk made some alterations, including signing veteran defenseman Karlis Skrastins from Florida and trading for backup goalie Alex Auld, who will be a major upgrade from Tobias Stephen behind Marty Turco.
"Marty really didn't get the chance to work on some things in his game," Crawford said. "That's one of the reasons why we brought in Alex Auld. We feel we can now give Marty those times during a season where he can work on things and stay sharp."
Various Stars links:
- Razor weighs in on the Patrick Kane arrest.
- Ralph Strangis does theatre in Coppell
- Sharks change time of December game against Stars
- Mike Heika profiles Toby Petersen
- Andrews Stars Page says Gustavsson wasn't the only Swedish goaltender in which the Stars had interest
NHL News and Notes:
- USA Today: A handful of NHL teams could sell "virtual ads" next season for use on their broadcasts.
- Cycle like the Sedins recaps an interesting Blackhawk summer so far
- Europe to figure heavily into the NHL pre-season schedule
- TSN: Zherdev close to deal with a KHL team
- St Louis Game Time discusses fighting in hockey
30 days to camp!