If the NHL were to hold an outdoor game in Dallas, the league would probably pray for weather like the city had the past few days.
Polar vortex or just plain cold, the temperatures in the 20s, 30s and even blessedly the 40s yesterday afternoon make for perfect outdoor hockey settings, after all. It might be amusing for the television viewers warm and cozy at home to watch temperatures drop from the 20s to the teens, as they did in New York City last night for the fourth game of the NHL's stadium series, but there is such a thing as too cold.
So will one of the outdoor games ever come to Dallas, especially since the NHL seems intent on making them a several-times-a-year occasion after the success of the six this year? According to Stars president Jim Lites, there are plans in the works, but he told the Dallas Morning News it's still a long ways away.
"We are in the very early stages of talks and planning, and we expect to make some headway during the Olympic break, but it’s still a few years away," Stars president and CEO Jim Lites said. "Just guessing, I would say 2015-16 at the earliest, and more realistically 2016-17."
As you might expect, the favored venue at the moment is AT&T Stadium (or the Death Star or JerryWorld, whichever you prefer) because the retractable roof offers an option in case of winter rain.
If Jerry is interested, and you can all insert your own jokes about the attention he'd get for it here, then you know it will happen eventually. As Mike Heika pointed out in the article, there are still plenty of obstacles to overcome (not the least of which is the attendance issues the Stars are going through as they transition into new ownership and a new sales practice that relies on fewer giveaways.
So there are plenty of things still to be worked out, but it does look like it's on the team's radar for the near, though not immediate, future. If the NHL is going to continue to hold several of these games a year, why not one in Dallas? It's got to be better than having one in the same stadium four days apar.... oh.
Now, onto the rest of the links.
The Stars know quite a bit about losing at the game of goalie after Monday's show by Semyon Varlomov of the Colorado Avalanche. Well, new Edmonton Oilers goalie couldn't let that stand as the biggest robbery of the week as he posted an astounding and record-setting 59-save shutout in his team's 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. That's the way to earn some undying loyalty quickly in a new town. [Montreal Gazette] [CBC.ca]
Along those same lines, the Stars are a puzzling 0-4-3 when posting 40 or more shots this season, including Monday's loss. Josh Bogorad did a little digging into those games to see if there was much different about the team's performance. [DallasStars.com]
What's the best cure for an offense that is coming off a most frustrating night? Well I'm sure it's not the New Jersey Devils and their suffocating-when-its-on defense. Neveretheless, that's the challenge the Stars face tonight. [DallasStars.com] [Voice of Russia]
Stephane Robidas is skating again, doing some decent turns on his surgically repaired leg if the pictures that the Dallas Stars Foundation posted on Instagram on Wednesday are representative. He's a little less than three weeks behind the timeline of Steven Stamkos, who is still trying his darndest to get back to playing strength in time for the start of the Olympic hockey tournament. It's going to be a tight squeeze. [National Post]
Ryan Garbutt started his professional career making $400 a week playing for the Corpus Christi IceRays of the CHL. His first paycheck next season may be more than he made that entire first year, and one of the reasons the Stars value him so is he is one of the players willing to be the first forward in on the forecheck. In this well timed article, Justin Bourne talks about why those players are so valuable. [Backhand Shelf]
I have to admit, even if I lived in Washington D.C., I don't think I'd ever have the guts to strap on my hockey skates and go for a morning spin on the reflecting pool on the Washington Mall. But a Reddit user did, and the experience was as glorious as you would imagine. Also, if you've ever wondered what it felt like to be the puck, this has got the video for you. [Extra Mustard]
Finally, the Stars hosted their annual Casino Night fundraiser on Tuesday up in north Plano. It's a bit pricey, but all of the money raised from the tickets and various auction items goes to a great cause - the Dallas Stars Foundation. If you ever have the chance to go and a little extra money to throw around (plus I believe you can write most of it off if you're that sort of person), it's totally worth your time. The Stars Foundation has already turned around a quick video to show you what you're missing.