Even though the on-time start to the season is far from guaranteed at this point, this is the time of year when the Dallas Stars players generally start trickling back into the Metroplex.
And despite the looming threat of the NHL lockout, that's exactly what's been happening over the past few weeks. By Monday, a half-dozen Stars players were out at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco along with alumnus and all-around awesome guy Jere Lehtinen,
According to Mark Stepneski of the official site, who posted the video below on his Twitter account Monday, players in attendance included Loui Eriksson, Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley, Kari Lehtonen, Ray Whitney and Vernon Fiddler.
There's another half-dozen players out there as well, I assume from either the front office or other former high-level players who live in the area. Perhaps there are even some prospects - I know Plano's Seth Jones was out at a few of these last year, and those of you with better eagle eyes than me might be able to pick out individuals.
- Eric Nystrom had one heck of a year last season, and that's before you add in the fact that the Stars really only picked him up to stay above the salary cap floor. And while it will be very difficult for him to repeat the career high in goals, he can still bring some other contributions to the lineup. [DallasNews.com]
- Loui Eriksson's tan is so noticeable, it's becoming a theme among all the "returning from the summer" stories about him. [DallasStars.com]
- Mike Heika talks how the Stars might not be hurt as much as one would expect by a lockout, but the folks at the Dallas Business Journal disagree. Both stories are behind a paywall. [DallasNews.com/Dallas Business Journal]
- A lot of folks wrote off many of the Stars offseason moves because of the elder statesman nature of several of the signings, but that didn't matter to the people at Hockey Tracker, who have the Stars in their list of offseason winners. [HockeyTracker.net]
- A couple of weeks ago, I linked an article about where some of the grant money from the Dallas Stars Foundation went this year. Here's another local organization that is benefiting from the team's charity arm. [Phoenix House]
- The fine folks over at Uni Watch recently put together a ranking of all the pro sports uniforms, and most of the Metroplex teams did not fare particularly well. The Stars fell way, way down the list with the primary sin of being boring. [D Magazine]
- Our friends over at Litter Box Cats are throwing around ideas for NHL realignment, and their plan for the Stars is far from the worst I've seen. [Litter Box Cats]
- In a preview of what many NHL stars may do if and when the lockout becomes reality, Evgeni Malkin has reportedly agreed to a contract with a KHL team. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
- As much as I loathe the Los Angeles Kings, it's clear defenseman Davis Drewiske will be the winner the classy move of the week award after spending part of his day with the Stanley Cup with paralyzed high school hockey player Jack Jablonski. [KARE11]
- Four Stars players made this list of top 100 fantasy players for 2012-13, none of them named Jaromir Jagr. [Puck Daddy]
- My favorite essayist over at Backhand Shelf takes on the NHL lockout and the emotional investment that the fans have in the sport that, quite frankly, neither side at the bargaining table does. It's what happens when it's a business for both sides but a passion for the group without a seat at the table. And even though the fans aren't a direct partner to the negotiations, there is a point for fans to continue to advocate for what is important to us. [Backhand Shelf]
- Speaking of the NHL lockout and Gary Bettman, he has talked a lot about how the NHL wants to use the recently signed CBAs in the NFL and NBA as comparables for these negotiations. Yeah, about that... [Down Goes Brown]
- Brenden Dillon has made an incredibly quick rise from undrafted free agent to "next defenseman to make the jump to the NHL" in the Stars system. He sat down with the official site to talk about his development. Also, bonus young Brad Lukowich footage.