Chris Mueller is becoming an interesting addition to the Dallas Stars. His signing of a two-way deal in the off-season wasn't met with much fanfare, and was largely overlooked by most fans and media, but his solid play in training camp and the preseason have earned him a spot on an NHL opening night roster for the first time in his career.
It very well may be short lived, as Rich Peverley is expected to be cleared for a full return to duty sometime during the first week of the season, which could mean a return to the American Hockey League for the 27 year old forward. He is taking it in stride and planning to make the most of his opportunity while he's up.
"Every day on cut day, it seems like I was the last cut and they would tell me I would be the first call-up, so this is a nice change from that," he said. "I’m really looking forward to starting the season here." Mueller is expected to be in the lineup when the Dallas Stars face the Florida Panthers on Thursday night to kick off the season. [Dallas Morning News]
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Down at AHL training camp, the Texas Stars just closed out their preseason schedule with a victory over the San Antonio Rampage in Cedar Park. The Baby Stars shutout the affiliate of the Florida Panthers, 3-0, behind the goaltending of Josh Robinson and Pat Nagle, both of whom are expected to be demoted to the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads.
Dallas native Austin Smith continued his strong preseason by scoring another goal, his second in three days, making an impression on Willie Desjardins and the Texas Stars staff. "I thought his play had improved since last year. I think he’s a lot stronger, he skates harder, and he’s always a scorer … he always looks for the net." [Austin Statesman]
Radek Faksa also had a bounce-back night, after a quiet start to his OHL campaign, scoring a hat trick and looking totally in control as the Kitchener Rangers defeated the Oshawa Generals on Sunday by a score of 5-3. Such a performance earned him designation as the day's first star on Yahoo!'s Junior Hockey blog. [Buzzing the Net]
For those Dallas Stars fan like myself who still have a soft spot for the one we used to call Otter, this next article is a reminder of what we gave up last year. Steve Ott is continuing to win fans as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, as this article from the Buffalo News states. Ott goes into that old story about learning trash talk in multiple languages as a teenager, and touches a bit on why current Stars bench boss Lindy Ruff was let go in Buffalo. [The Buffalo News]
On the other end of the fan-favorite spectrum, Sean Avery had a little bit of a problem getting through customs on a recent commuter flight from New York to Toronto. No one has too many details on it, but it's assumed he was flagged for his arrest a little while back. [New York Post]
Dallas Stars fans aren't the only ones excited about the preseason showing the young kids put together over the past month. NHL.com showed a little love to Colton Scevior, Valeri Nichushkin, and Alex Chiasson in their article titled "Seven Things We Learned in the Preseason." [NHL.com]
Today's video is the first glimpse of the Dallas Stars new "Little Rookies" hockey camp for kids. The program, if you're not familiar, is a free hockey camp designed by Mike Modano to get young kids introduced to the game at any of the major ice rinks in the Metroplex.