LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Jack Campbell, drafted 11th by the Dallas Stars, poses for a portrait during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Days until official start of training camp: 16 (!!!)
Days since last Stars game: 144
Days until next Stars game: 37
We're almost there, people. And you know how I can tell? In July, when I wanted to find Stars news on Google News, the most I could find most days was a single article per week. And that article would usually be something like "Nicklas Grossman is one of a few Jewish Swedes in the NHL." Which is interesting, but not...news. Then today, there were eight pages on Google News when I searched "Dallas Stars." I was so happy.
You should be, too. Sixteen days. Meanwhile, some Stars news for you to feast on....
First off, I was intrigued when I stumbled across a story from The Record, a paper in Kitchner, Ontario. The story details the brewing controversy surrounding Kitchner Rangers forward (and Chicago Blackhawks prospect) Jeremy Morin:
The NHL has an agreement with the Canadian Hockey League. Teenage players must either stick in the NHL or be returned to junior.
But Morin skates on the shadowy edges of this understanding. He was drafted into the NHL in June, 2009 by the Atlanta Thrashers after two years in the U.S. national team development program. That Ann Arbor-based outfit has no agreement with the NHL.
So the Blackhawks, who traded for Morin in June, are working on the assumption that Morin can be assigned to their AHL team in Rockford should he fail to make the NHL.
The Rangers want him back in junior for a Memorial Cup run. The Hawks want the right to send him to the Rockford Icehogs, should they choose. Norm Maciver, Chicago's player development director, says the team believes Morin is AHL-eligible.
Incoming Windsor Spitfires goalie Jack Campbell, 18, could find himself in the same situation as a first-round pick of the Dallas Stars - one and done for the OHL.
Interesting. Campbell was also drafted out of the U.S. national development program, so technically the NHL would not have much of a say if the Stars wanted to place Campbell on the Texas Stars after this season. At that point, he would be 19 years old as well. There's really no way of knowing what will happen, though. First off, as the article goes on to say, this is likely something that will be fully addressed when the NHL's collective bargaining agreement is up. Secondly, we don't know what the Stars' plans for Jack will be a year from now.
That said, it will be interesting to see if this situation will arise again between the Stars and Windsor. Like the article said, you can't convince me a player wouldn't prefer a $50,000 AHL contract to $50 a week in juniors.
So, we'll see what happens. Maybe Brunnstrom could land on a talented team and be the perfect fit, but I kind of see him as a ``tweener.'' I think Brunnstrom can go to a team and score goals if given top minutes, but the problem is that the team won't be very good if they are giving top minutes to a player like him. I think we see it in players like Jon Sim or even Antti Miettinen. They play well, they score goals, but their teams struggle to win if they are in the top six. They are good players, but they are not good enough to carry a team when given the biggest of key roles.
That's a harsh criticism, I know, but it's something that happens regularly in the NHL.
Ouch. But it's true, Brunnstrom has shown he has potential to be a great role player, but not much else. He's never going to be a star. I do hope he gets a shot somewhere else though, I'd be interested to see how he does with more minutes. Please do check out the rest of Heika's post on Fabian, he does a great breakdown on where Brunnstrom fits on the team.
Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas has this tidbit from Niskanen, who is skating down in Frisco with some of his teammates:
"I was pretty happy with my first two years. I certainly had some spots where I wasn't that good. But last year, as a whole, I was pretty disappointed with my own play and as well as where the team went," Niskanen said. "It was kind of gut check time for me this summer, and coming into camp this year I've got to re-establish myself as a better defenseman within the group and in the league."
I'm still wary of Niskanen, but I'll hold off from criticizing him until I've seen him play this season. Stepneski didn't add a picture of Nisky's biceps, but I'll assume that Nisky is going to be stronger this year. But there is a difference between strength and toughness....one can only hope Niskanen will have both.
DallasStars.com has a feature up on Stephane Robidas. Appears Robie has a big goal this year:
"Our group is ready to get back to the playoffs. We are not all back yet on the ice but I know that is our goal as a team, we need to get back there. After last year we were very disappointed. I know that all the experts are saying it is not going to happen for us. Even though we are underdogs and I think that can be a reason that we can be identity that we can pull from and maybe surprise some people."
"I just want to make the playoffs this season," he said. "Missing the playoffs the past two seasons is incredibly difficult. That is something that I have been thinking about a lot this summer. That is my main goal - getting back to the playoffs is a huge part of my motivation for this season."