Stars' Kari Lethonen to Start Against Anaheim After Dan Ellis Talk; NHL, Rogers Reach New TV Deal

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Kari Lehtonen will face down the Ducks for the first time this season tonight at the AAC...

Just kidding.

The talk Monday centered around a possible surprise start by goaltender Dan Ellis, who Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said needs to see some action beyond the few minutes he got in St. Louis, but as Kari Lethonen left first today is appears as though he will be the man.

From all accounts this morning's skate was optional, so line combinations were difficult to glean but Mr. Heika also hypothesizes that Vernon Fiddler and Shawn Horcoff may be switching lines this evening against the Anaheim Ducks.

Ray Whitney has been officially reactivated and will presumably skate along side Cody Eakin and Alex Chiasson.

Dan Ellis could still start Friday against the Blackhawks, but perhaps Sunday against the Oilers would be a better spot to get Lehtonen some rest?

A couple of brief topics of conversation for this afternoon...

Rogers, NHL Reach Deal

The NHL formally announced today it's new 12-year, $4.9 BILLION deal with Rogers for national rights to league broadcasts in Canada.

It has many, many implications. Like no more national or playoff broadcasts on TSN after this season. Hockey Night in Canada on CBC will still exist, though will be altered as Rogers appears to control even that. Questions I have as an American on that front are: Will NBC Sports Network be able to simulcast as many live playoff games using Sportsnet's feeds the way they have with TSN in the past?

Beyond that there is a much more Dallas-centric tie in: the cap will go up as a result of this. That will help various enemies in the forms of the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, Oilers, and others, but with contracts like Gonchar's and Horcoff's there are significant implications for Dallas as well. How the details shake out - it's impossible to say, but it's something to consider as you scribble compliance buyouts on the back of cocktail napkins.

Then there's this Tweet from Chris Botta...

Will the Sportsnet folks tone it down while the venerable TSN crowd stir it up a little more? Could be fun.

There's only one game in the NHL tonight, so NHL Network HAD to pay attention to the Stars, and they did. For one whole minute...Almost...


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