Welcome to the start of hockey season...kinda.
Yes, a team named the Dallas Stars will play in a real live game against another team today for the first time since too early in April. Sure, it's just the start of the prospect tournament and the big boys still have another week until they even start official practice, but for those of us who are starved for hockey, it's like the light at the end of a very long tunnel.
Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas talked to several of the key prospects who will be in Traverse City for the prospect tournament, including Jack Campbell, Scott Glennie and Brenden Dillon. From that article:
"For a lot of guys it is a measuring stick to where you are, not only against prospects from other teams but guys in your own organization that you may have to beat out," said Campbell. "That’s a huge thing for that tournament, but also if you play well you might get a shot at the next level. It’s just a great opportunity for everybody."
The Stars open the tournament with a game against the baby Carolina Hurricanes at 3 p.m. Central.
Finally, despite the title of this post, this won't be a daily feature until at least training camp (which is delightfully soon). We're hoping to have it up several times a week until then, but "Dallas Stars Quasi-Daily Links" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
After the jump, you'll find some high hopes for the Stars prospects, a good deed from a hated rival and a touching gesture from Belarus.
- Jamie Oleksiak has been recruited by NHL.com to write daily blogs during the tournament. There's not a lot of new information in this, and like a lot of athlete blogs, it's a little bland, but hey, it's the blond Lurch lookalike in his own words (and I mean that as a compliment. I love me some Lurch). [NHL.com]
- Joe Nieuwendyk talks optimism about the current prospect situation behind the Morning News' paywall. [Dallas Morning News]
- Jack Campbell has got some fans at McKeen's, one of the more thorough draft and prospect yearbooks out there. They rank him as the No. 2 goalie prospect in all of the NHL systems. Four other Stars prospects make an appearance on the publication's top 150 list. [ESPN Dallas]
- Another fairly optimistic look at this year's Dallas Stars squad. While having many of the same questions as the Puck Daddy preview, they seem to have a little more hope for people like Sheldon Souray. [Red Light District]
- There's been a lot written about Karlis Skrastins the father and teammate, but this is the first mention I've seen of Skrastins the son. I didn't know a lot about his background before this article, which is from a tiny newspaper in Idaho, about the reaction of one of his best friends from Latvia. [Idaho Mountain Express]
- I swear I don't like to make people cry, but I do think this is worthy of a watch. Dinamo Minsk, the team that was scheduled to play Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the opener, held a "hockey memorial service" instead. The videos are in Russian with no subtitles, but the moments are painfully clear in their meaning. [Puck Daddy]
- At long last, players are starting to come forward to openly discuss the very real problem of addiction, particularly to painkillers, in hockey. Former Dallas Star Todd Fedoruk and long-time enforcer Chris Nilan are the most recent to tell their stories. [Yahoo/Slam Sports]
- A look at where the Los Angeles Kings are in their negotiations with Drew Doughty (hint: things still appear to be stagnant), how they got there and where the situation goes from here. [TheHockeyWriters.com]
- And to end on a bit of a high note, Corey Perry is... not my favorite person in all of hockey. But the Anaheim Ducks forward did a wonderful thing Friday by stopping by a fire station in New York City that was hit hard by 9/11. [OC Register]