In a clear sign that hockey season really, truly is almost upon us, a whole truckload of players showed up for the daily optional skate in Frisco on Tuesday.
According to Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas, the new arrivals included Steve Ott, Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Adam Burish, Vernon Fiddler, Mark Fistric and Krys Barch along with several new guys from the Texas Stars.
They did about 30 minutes of "practice" and scrimmaging, where Ott got a chance to show off his inner bossy child. Also, note Jamie Benn's fabulous attempt at facial hair in the background.
Ott then talked for a bit about how he's embracing the challenge of filling a top-6 role, an opportunity general manager Joe Nieuwendyk has said the team will give him.
- Stepneski has also promised us coverage from the Traverse City prospects tournament this weekend, but he hasn't left for Michigan yet. With nearly all of the players and staff trickling back into town this week, Mark was able to put together a solid look at where this team stands of depth among the skaters. If you don't get enough lines talk during the season, he's even compiled a convenient little depth chart at the bottom of each article. [ESPN Dallas Forwards/Defensemen]
- You may have noticed a relative lack of content from Dallas Morning News writer Mike Heika recently. No, he wasn't among the nearly 40 newsroom people let go by the company Tuesday, but he did recently have heart surgery. By my count, this is the second time he's been on the injured reserve list since taking over the beat; he also broke his arm while hanging Christmas lights several years back and missed some time. Go wish him well. [Dallas Morning News]
- The official site catches up with one of my favorite former lunch-pail players, Rob DiMaio. With a nose only rivaled by Robidas', DiMaio left his heart, soul and occasional chunk of flesh on the ice during his three seasons in Dallas, and he's now working as a scout for the St. Louis Blues. [DallasStars.com]
- At least one pundit has a relatively positive prediction for the Stars this season. This Anaheim Ducks blog is previewing the divisional rivals, and they think Dallas has added enough to contend for a playoff spot in the very competitive Pacific Division. [Ducks Daily Blog]
- Marty Turco doesn't have a contract yet after not being re-signed by the Chicago Blackhawks, but he's still looking for a team to take a waiver on him. It's not surprising that teams are wary after his recent struggles, but it's still hard to see what a sharp downturn his career has taken since his brilliant 2008 playoffs. [ESPN Chicago]
- There will be a lot of 9/11 retrospectives cropping up as we get closer to the weekend, but I thought this was a nice piece of the two Los Angeles Kings scouts who lost their lives that day. [Fox Sports West]
- I know this will shock you all, but the City of Vancouver is trying to pass the buck on its responsibility for the riots that broke out after the Vancouver Canucks loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. According to an internal city report that was headed to the city council on Tuesday, the city simply needed more help from the NHL. There are lots of takes out there on this report, but my favorite was posted over at Puck Daddy, especially because of the zinger in his final paragraph. [Puck Daddy]
- James Neal is once again working out with Gary Roberts over the summer according to the Pittsburgh Penguins website. He also talks about feeling more comfortable with the city and the team, but he doesn't discuss the more pressing issue of whether or not he's readjusted his sights to hit the net and not the post on shootout attempts. Oh, and is it me, or does the video that accompanies this article seem... oddly cinematic? [PittsburghPenguins.com]