Following hockey, even NHL hockey, can be a labor of love. It's something one in Texas must go out of their way to do if they're to do it well. This season it will be, as you know, even harder.
The good news is that it is still hockey season, and that Dallas Stars property (so to speak) can still be seen. In addition to updating you weekly on stats and progress of the young men, we'd like also to provide a resource for planned viewing of these guys, and that's where this post comes in.
For many of us this year these games will be appointment viewing, and because of the financial commitment necessary, it's something that must be planned in advanced. The table below, updated weekly around this time, as most games at lower levels surround the weekend, should help us in that regard.
The NCAA and AHL players have not yet begun their seasons. The following is a taste of what such a schedule will look like. We hope this will become a resource for avid prospect watchers in this time of hockey need...
|Texas Stars et all||
||Training Camp||Training Camp||Training Camp||Training Camp||Training Camp||Training Camp||Houston (Preseason)|
|Radek Faksa||Kitchener - OHL||@ Windsor||@London|
|Brett Ritchie||Niagara - OHL||@ Ottawa||@Kingston|
|Gemel Smith||Owen Sound - OHL||@ Barrie||@ Guelph||Sarnia|
|Matej Stransky||Saskatoon - WHL||@ Swift Current||Red Deer|
|Branden Troock||Seattle - WHL||@ Prince George||@ Prince George|
|Mike Winther||Prince Albert - WHL||Moose Jaw||Red Deer|
|Troy Vance||Victoriaville - QMJHL||Shawinigan||Baie-Comeau
|Alex Guptill||Michigan||Begins 10/9/2012|
|Curtis McKenzie||Miami (OH)||Begins 10/7/2012|
|Devin Shore||Maine||Begins 10/6/2012|
|Scott Winkler||Colorado College||Begins 10/7/2012|
|Dmitry Sinitsyn||Umass-Lowell||Begins 10/6/2012|
Yes, Moose Jaw is actually the name of a town.
Your options for streaming live video of Dallas Stars prospects this (non) season currently look like this...
- In the WHL (Stransky, Troock, Winther) they offer a $199.99 team pass for the entire season, or $6.95 per game. We like to wait until one prospect is playing another to spend the cash. [WHL]
- In the OHL (Faksa, Ritchie, Smith) prices are comparable. It's currently $179.99 for the team pass and $6.99 for single games. [LINK]
- In the Q (Troy Vance) it's a little cheaper, as they sell a team pass for $149.95 on the season, and a comparable $6.95 for single games. It's just Vance, though, and he's very young still. [LINK]
And then there is the AHL, where the majority of our focus will be placed during the lockout. Sugar coating this is not easy so I won't attempt it here: The AHL Live subscriptions are not cheap, but they do present you with options. [LINK]
- You can purchase the ALL ACCESS package and watch every team, every game for $349.99. Which is ridiculous. Even Brandon and I, the hardest of the hardcore prospect watchers, will probably not be purchasing this options.
- You can buy individual games for about $7 each, which, depending on how many you plan on watching, really might be the best way to go.
- You can get all of the TX Stars away games for $99.99, which might make sense if you're a season ticket holder in Cedar Park.
- Or you can get all Texas Stars games for $149.99. Steep, but this is the way we'll probably go here on the site. Chiasson, Oleksiak, Campbell, Smith, Smith, Dillon, Nemeth, Vincour, Fraser, Eakin...it's just too juicy not to. If you can get your wife to sign off, that is. (We recommend splitting the cost with like minded hockey nerds, as we'll be doing)
Legal avenues for watching European leagues are practically non-existent. Well update this as the lockout drags on and further options may become available, but we're not holding our breath. We'll post YouTube videos on the site when possible, and Brandon will update the European prospects' stats weekly.
NCAA games are available sporadically and we'll do our best to inform of you when, though locally, if you happen to live near one, will be the best option. As the lockout deepens NBC Sports may carry more and more college games.
The most redeeming thing about hockey this year is that it spreads to multiple tiers, and that Joe Nieuwendyk has dedicated the last several seasons and drafts to making this arm of the organization as interesting as humanly possible.
It's time, more than ever, to pay attention to these young men as they make their attempted assents into Dallas roster spots. We'll try to help you do as much with weekly updates and upcoming schedules.
**Please remember this season that per SB Nation policy, illegal streams are not to be discussed in comment threads on Defending Big D or any other blog.