While the lazy solution for journalists around the continent looking to sum up the Stars drafting of such large, young defensemen might be the stupid cliche about things supposedly being "bigger in Texas" (they're not), Joe Nieuwendyk says it was all part of the plan.
In 2009 he drafted a lot of players that scouts assured us were very fast, but that's not enough any more. Speed AND size AND youth is where games are being won out there these days (re: Jamie Benn) and Nieuwendyk wanted stature to add to mobility, which is where Oleksiak and company come into play, not to mention fitting the mold of hard to play against.
"It's part of the plan. We've always stressed that we want to become a team that is hard to play against," said Nieuwendyk. "You're certainly going to see that with the group of kids we've got coming now. We're going bigger and you're trying to maintain some mobility on the back end, which all these guys have. We're just going to become a quicker, bigger, faster team."
That kind of size certainly is hard to play against. See: Douglas Murray.
- Grading the draft already, which is absurd for obvious reasons, we start with CBS sports who like everyone else focuses on the size the Stars took this year and says someday they could have one of the biggest blue lines in hockey. B+. [CBS]
- Somehow the Florida Panthers convinced Brian Campbell to waive his NTC to move to South Beach. Huh? How? Why? The end result is that the Blackhawks how have a lot more cap room to take players away from the rest of us in free agency and just generally improve their team. Like the Jackets. And Kings. The West is getting better... [NHL.com]
- There was some talk that Kirk Muller could coach the Texas Stars in Cedar Park, but it's looking more and more like he will coach the Predators farm team in the magnificent city of Milwaukee. That would be the same Milwaukee team that took out the Texas Stars in the 2011 playoffs. [Sportsnet]
- A wonderful story here for hockey in North Texas that says a lot about the Dallas Stars impact on the area as two local kids were taken in the NHL entry draft, Blake Coleman and Colin Jacobs. Congratulations to them and to all those who developed them down here in Texas are in order. [DMN]
- Here we go to a UMass Hockey Blog...why? These guys hate Jamieson Oleksiak so much (because he's so good) that they're rooting for him to turn pro immediately and not return to college next year. They say their defensemen looked like they were playing in the wrong age bracket standing next to him. Gotta love that. [UMass Live]
- Realignment talk continues (and will for the next 12 months) with the four division plan and divisional play in the first round of the playoffs. Dallas continues to gain acknowledgment as a franchise in need of schedule change due to time zone issues and travel. [Yahoo!]
- Puck Daddy says the realignment will be great for the playoffs as the divisional play will foster rivalries. It seems like we've heard that before (when teams went to 8 games against each divisional opponent) but this might actually work this time. [Puck Daddy]
- Thanks to reader jam0152 who says the ESPN draft grade for the Stars (behind a paywall) is a B, and they make a dumb "bigger in Texas" joke about the immense size taken. [ESPN]