Stargazing: Could Turco End up In Chicago?

I Google-Newsed "Dallas Stars" the other day, and one of the first things I saw was an article about a company that manufactures bricks. This Canton based Belden Brick Co apparently supplied the bricks that adorn the sides of the American Airlines Center. This is interesting because, frankly, it's not interesting at all; It just wonderfully illustrative of the complete dearth of Dallas Stars related news items you might be interested in.

Perhaps the two most interesting story lines going right now, with news of the teams' sale and James Neal's negotiations extremely hard to come by, are the two players who actually aren't Stars any more: Mike Modano and Marty Turco.

With Gagne traded from Philadelphia, the Flyers could be one step closer to making Turco a second offer, and how could he turn anything down now? The other possibility, however unlikely, is that Marty could wind up with the Chicago Blackhawks. That speculation comes as arbitration hearings get underway and Antti Niemi's situation is addressed in the days to come.

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Mr. Stepneski of ADSP discusses the possibility:

If Chicago isn’t happy with an arbitration ruling on Niemi – say in excess of $3.5 million – would the cap-crunched Hawks walk away and make a pitch to UFA Marty Turco for a couple mil and the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup at 35? Maybe Theodore? In the meantime, Corey Crawford gets 20-25 games as backup and, who knows, maybe he becomes the next Niemi.

And we're starting to see those in Chicago themselves acknowledge the chance...[Chicago Now]

The Hawks' inability to reach a deal with Niemi tells us that the asking price is simply too high. It seems likely that Niemi will go to arbitration on July 29th, where his salary award can realistically range anywhere between 2 and 4 million. If it is on the lower end, the Hawks can afford him. If it's anything above $3m, it might be time to order a Blackhawks Marty Turco jersey.

While it's an embarrassment of riches that Turco is being connected to BOTH Stanley Cup Final contenders, it's also an "embarrassment" embarrassment that it's nearly August and he still doesn't have a home. Could you cheer for Marty in Chicago?

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Mike Heika believes the ball is in the Stars court (for the most part) regarding James Neal and the impending long and drawn out contract negotiations...

If the Stars believe that all they can afford to give Neal right now is two years at $2.5 million a year, then they don't have to offer anything more. They might lose Neal's services for a season, but they have left-handed left wings and could easily plug someone like Jamie Benn in Neal's place. Then, it would be up to Neal to decide if he would rather sit out for a month or two (or even the whole year) to get what he feels is fair. It's certainly not the best way to foster a good long-term relationship with a player, but it is an advantage that teams get through the CBA.

If I had to make a prediction on this thing, it will be that Neal and his agent will eventually propose a one-year contract at what they believe is a rate the Stars would take. That way, Neal could go into camp on time, try to hit a home run with a 40-goal season and then have the option of arbitration next summer. In addition, if new ownership is in place for the Stars by then, my guess is the negotiating environment would be a lot better.

He's got a lot more here, so click over and check it out if you missed it yesterday.

I find the idea of a James Neal 40 goal season both enticing and terrifying. I need some new ownership to soothe my financial fears. The jury is still out on James Neal for a lot of folks, but I feel like he's someone I want to see wearing the black for the long haul.

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Tyler Beskorowany is featured at Dallasstars.com. Next year is an important one in the big guys development...

After his season in Kingston ended, Beskorowany journeyed to Idaho to spend some time observing the pro hockey lifestyle during that club’s run to the ECHL Finals, giving him a good preview of what he’ll face this year.

"Just to be in the same room as the guys and whatnot, and I’ve been in practice with those guys and trying to face the same shots that they’re shooting and the speed - it is a big step and it’s a big change for me," Beskorowany said of the differences between junior and pro hockey. "Traveling with Idaho for an entire week and going to Utah during the playoffs, it was good to see what it was all about. Not having someone there to cook for you and you have to clean up after yourself - it’s a little bit of a change coming from junior to the next level. It was good for me and hopefully, it was an eye-opener for next year, for sure."

Jack Campbell or no, I liked this kid at camp last year and I am holding out hope for him moving forward.

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Winging it in Motown is now completely done with the Modano idea...

At first this whole Mike Modano to Detroit idea was intriguing, even a little exciting. Modano, who grew up in Livonia, coming home for one last chance to win a Cup. Who wouldn’t get behind that?

Well, now it looks like nobody.

Red Wings bloggers across the nation have voiced their opinions, and the consensus seems to be a resounding "No to Mo." After dragging out his decision into what now looks like at least August, you can add me to the list.

The problem for me isn’t about Modano waffling, or even the cap space that he’ll take up. The simple, honest truth is this: the Detroit Red Wings really don’t need Mike Modano.

He goes on here, so do read the rest of it.

If they want to pass, I think we could accept it, eh Stars fans? Unfortunately the position of the Red Wing fan and the Red Wing management don't seem to jive.

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As always, we're keeping an eye on the Rangers sale...

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told the Fort Worth Star- Telegram on July 16 that he was interested in buying the Rangers. When an attorney for the Greenberg-Ryan group tried to ask Snyder if Cuban was one of the four potential bidders, the judge told Snyder not to answer because not all of the offers are public.

Sal Galatioto, president of Galatioto Sports Partners, a sports investment firm, testified that it would take about 90 days for any deal to get done. He said he would be willing to let the Ryan group’s agreement expire.

Galatioto, who represented the Ricketts family when they bought the Chicago Cubs out of bankruptcy last year, is representing Tom Hicks as he tries to sell the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars and his interest in the American Airlines Center. Galatioto said he expects the Stars sale to bring in about $140 million to $150 million in proceeds for lenders of Hicks’s HSG Sports Group LLC, the Rangers’ parent. -Business Week-

90 days??... It would not surprise me if the Stars sale gets done before the Rangers sale at this point. That's optimistic to the point of foolishness perhaps, but it is within the realm of possibility at this point.

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