Mac Engel isn't what you'd call a regular at Dallas Stars media availability. Heck, I'm not all that sure he even showed up to Tom Gaglardi's introductory press conference last week.
But he is one of the bigwigs among DFW area columnists, and he chimed in on a fairly interesting topic in Stars-land on Tuesday - the re-hiring of Jim Lites as president.
Say whatever you want about this man, but he deeply cares about this sport and this franchise in this market. He's 58, has plenty of money, and really doesn't need the work. This is a legacy decision.
So the story is all rolling along nicely with some pretty solid quotes from Lites and generally good points about how the Stars were alienating some fans all the way back to the move to the American Airlines Center.
And then, well, there's this.
Check that, Jim. They have to win in the playoffs, something this team hasn't seen three years running.
If this team doesn't make the playoffs this spring, GM Joe Nieuwendyk should be fired. And I like Joe. A lot.
Now Mac, I will defend you on many things. But a team with the lowest payroll in the NHL this year and a very low payroll the year before who finished in ninth place and one stinking win out of playoff spot does not a terrible GM make. I get the point he's trying to make - the city responds to winners and that's the ultimate job of a GM. But Nieuwendyk has been hamstrung by his budget over the past few seasons and still done a relatively solid job. He deserves a chance to show what he can do with a little more freedom.
After the jump, a quiet news day in Stars world, Razor takes on Rayzor and Jordin Tootoo does his best vampire impersonation.
- A very nice Mike Heika blog analysis post about how far Andrew Raycroft might have gone with earning the trust, and therefore better play, of his teammates with his win last night over the Colorado Avalanche. [DallasNews.com]
- The folks over at ESPN Dallas break down November by the numbers. Your leading scorer for the month? Eric Nystrom. God, I love him. [ESPN Dallas]
- Okay, so I mentioned in passing yesterday that there were two coaching fire/hires in the NHL, including the Carolina Hurricanes. What I didn't mention in the avalanche of links is that former Stars grumpy old line member Kirk Muller was named the Hurricanes new coach. [The Rat Trick]
- Razor talks about why he thinks Rayzor will do well in the starting role. And if you can parse that, please collect your Stars fan points at the door. [Razor with an Edge]
- There's been a little bit about this, but here's a pretty good summary of how Tom Gaglardi didn't buy the Vancouver Canucks a few years ago. [Canadian Business Network]
- And here's a much more in-depth profile of Gaglardi, including his family's background at turning businesses around. [ESPN]
- With Vernon Fiddler not as injured as once feared and Brenden Morrow hopefully on the path to recovery from his back injury, Francis Wathier is on his way back to the Texas Stars after a quick call up. [ESPN Dallas]
- Teeny tiny blog update about the position of Kari Lehtonen and Sheldon Souray in the All-Star fan balloting. [DallasNews.com]
- Meet the enemy: The Ottawa Senators found their offense against the struggling Winnipeg Jets with a 6-4 win in Manitoba, though they lost Nikita Filatov to a skate to the face (ow) and broken nose and Filip Kuba to the mysterious and dreaded upper-body injury. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Around the Pacific Division: Only one team in action tonight, and the Phoenix Coyotes picked up a 4-1 victory over the listless Chicago Blackhawks. Bonus headline fun with this article. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Live television is always an experiment in what can go wrong, and Jordin Tootoo of the Nashville Predators gives us a uniquely hockey way to end an interview here. Also, Jordin, honey, the sun. Please meet it. You need the vitamin D. [Puck Daddy]
- No new video because the team didn't practice on Tuesday, so here is last week's Dallas Stars Insider, which features all the ownership/presidency stuff you ever wanted to know. Please don't boo the image of Gary Bettman. Although I know it is reflex for some of you, he can't hear you through the computer screen.