At 7:40 a.m. Central this morning, the Dallas Stars will take the ice for their first official practice of the 2011/12 season at MacLauchlan Arena in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. After three days of practice that includes an intrasquad scrimmage, the team will head to Montreal for its first preseason game on Tuesday and take the ice Thursday for the first time at the American Airlines Center.
Yes, the long summer is finally over.
The prospects actually skated for the first time today, according to The Guardian, the primary newspaper for P.E.I.'s 140,000 residents.
An energetic group of 12 young NHL hopefuls participated in a number of puck- handling, passing and shooting drills in a laid-back atmosphere as the group attempted to get their legs under them and get used to their surroundings at the MacLauchlan Arena.
The players were put through their paces by Jeff Pyle, head coach of the Dallas Stars’ American Hockey League affiliate — Texas Stars, and his assistant coach, Jeff Truitt.
After the jump, more about the start of training camp, Razor has some... interesting ideas and Karlis Skrastins is laid to rest.
- With Dallas Morning News reporter Mike Heika still recovering from heart surgery, it looks like the only local coverage we're going to get from the first few days of training camp will come from ESPN Dallas. He's Mark Stepneski's advance. [ESPN Dallas]
- The DMN, though, does offer us this feature on new acquisition Michael Ryder. I'd tell you more, but I sadly am blocked by the paywall. [Dallas Morning News]
- I love Razor as much as any Stars fans, but I will freely admit he is an... outside-the-box thinker when it comes to rule changes. And by outside the box, I mean completely out of his mind. While some of these ideas to improve the NHL broadcast experience have a lot of merit, others (like eliminating an intermission) are a little bananas. [Razor with an Edge]
- Brenden Dillon garnered rave reviews for his performance at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. He's one of nine prospects who got a writeup from NHL.com. [NHL.com]
- I'm not sure I quite understand the analysis done by this blogger, but the gist of it is from the "operating income" numbers (I think they really mean operating profit, which would make a lot more sense) as reported by Forbes, the Stars are still doing well compared to many team in the NHL. That would jive with what we understand to be the case with the debt tied to the team - most of it has nothing to do with operating losses and everything to do with interest and unpaid loans. [Putting on the Foil]
- Nearly 20,000 Latvians attended the public funeral for Karlis Skrastins in Riga on Friday. [Associated Press]
- What's one way to turn a routine holdout into a possible relationship-killing mess? Start publicly fining the player who holds out. Los Angeles Kings defensemen Drew Doughty wants more than the $6.8 million per year the team is offering, but the team is taking $25,000 off the offer (for this year only) for each day he misses camp, starting with Friday, since that's how much he'd earn per day under the new contract. I know don't know what's sadder - that he would earn $25,000 per day or that both sides in this mess are digging their heels in like tired children on the playground. [TSN]
- The NHL's Finnish cyborg can't let his Swedish counterpart outplay him. I get the feeling that as long as Nicklas Lidstrom continues to play for the Detroit Red Wings, Teemu Selanne will keep coming back as well. The ageless Finn, who had an annoying habit of being a Star-killer last year, signed a 1-year, $4 million deal with the Anaheim Ducks earlier this week. [Los Angeles Times]
- Catching up with former Grumpy-Old-Men line member Kirk Muller, who is getting ready to take his first head coaching position with the Nashville Predators' AHL affiliate. [The Tennessean]