Tom Gaglardi headed to the Dallas Stars final practice of the season Friday, and the new owner had a disappointed but measured quote about how the team has failed to make the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
You can find the full quote here on ESPN Dallas, though I'm sure someone will have a longer interview with him in the near future.
But like many others around the team, he's still struggling to figure out this team, which had stretches where it was virtually unbeatable followed by stretches were it all came crashing back down to earth.
For the most part, even with the rough ending, most of the guys worked pretty hard and tried hard, but the X-factor wasn’t there as far as figuring out how to win games. A lot of that could be the power play, I don’t know. It’s disappointing. I think we’re as good or better than teams that are in the playoffs, so it is a tough pill to swallow.
After the jump, more on today's game against the Blues, Nicklas Grossmann gets paid and NHL highlights that even you could pull off.
- As we wrote about on Friday, the Stars will likely rest a lot of their veterans today who have been dealing with injuries. The list includes Mike Ribeiro (MCL), Radek Dvorak (ankle), Mark Fistric (groin), Steve Ott and Stephane Robidas. [DallasNews.com]
Scott Glennie and Brenden Dillon will be making their NHL debuts today. Jordie Benn is also back in the lineup, in what I can only guess is actually an emergency recall since Glennie and Dillon would be callups 3 and 4. But if Robidas and Fistric are both unable to go, that would open up the door for Benn to be an emergency recall. [ESPN Dallas]
Austin Smith was one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, but he left the Florida award ceremony empty handed as the award went to Jack Connolly of Minnesota-Duluth. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
- Adam Burish is one of many young American hockey players who came up through the USHL rather than the Canadian major junior system, and he reflects on some of the more memorable moments of his development here. [USHL.com]
- Remember kids, defensemen are expensive. Nicklas GrossmanN proved this again Friday by signing a four-year, $3.5 million per season extension with the Philadelphia Flyers. Does that make anyone feel better about the Alex Goligoski contract? [CSN Philly]
- Mike Heika writes about how Joe Nieuwendyk knew that type of extension was what Grossmann would command as a UFA and that's why he was expendable in a trade and compares that with the decision to bring Reilly Smith directly to the NHL. [DallasNews.com]
- And once again, in the department of good news, we have the fact that we are fans of neither the Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens. [Backhand Shelf]
- As all hockey fans do this time of year, I make a game out of deciding whether the guy who clearly just hurt his ankle will be listed with an upper body injury, lower body injury or flu-like symptoms. Here's a decent defense as to why teams still do it that way, even if it is a false sense of security with all the video replay available. [Hockey Gear HQ]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: The St. Louis Blues come into this game in a bit of a slump, and we all know how things have turned out for slumping teams against the Stars recently. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: Our friends over at St. Louis Game Time chronicle how their favorite team is tempting fate with their t-shirt merchandise selection. [St. Louis Game Time]
- Around the Pacific Division: The Phoenix Coyotes helped the Blues continue their slumping ways with a 4-1 victory on Friday. The Yotes are now in first place in the Pacific Division, and their power play is mathematically as bad as the Stars. The difference for them? Mike Smith has been an absolute wall in recent games. [Tuscon Citizen]
- No discipline for Ryane Clowe for his brazen and possibly game-changing poke-check from the bench. This story says it might be something the NHL adds to the rulebook this summer, but I can almost guarantee you at least one player will try this in the playoffs now that we've determined the only consequence is a minor. After all, there are such things as smart penalties to take, and if you can take away a golden chance with a penalty, there are definitely times to do it. [Puck Daddy]
- This compilation of bloopers from the NHL season is not nearly long enough for my liking, but it does make me smile to know that my beer league teammates and I can certainly pull off at least one of these plays. And that makes us one step closer to the NHL, right?