Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Prospects Shine in Traverse City Opener

Jamie Squire

Curtis McKenzie notches a hat trick as the Stars prospects defeat the Blues' 5-2 in the Traverse City opener.

Editor's Note: This is the second in our Links tryout series. Today's anonymous poster recaps the Stars' first Traverse City prospect game. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

The Traverse City Tournament commenced last night, and the Dallas Stars sent a stacked lineup to the tournament. In their first game against the St. Louis Blues prospects, they announced their presence with authority, winning 5-2 in convincing fashion.

The biggest offensive contributor on the night was 2009 sixth-round pickCurtis McKenzie, who scored a hat trick, courtesy of even strength goal, a power play goal, and a shorthanded empty net goal. He played on the second line with Brendan Ranford and Brett Ritchie, each of whom had an assist on separate McKenzie goals.

Here is McKenzie's power play goal, video courtesy of Mark Stepneski.


The Stars' top line in last night's game-comprised of Valeri Nichushkin, Radek Faksa, and Alex Chiasson, with Chiasson wearing the C. Perhaps the biggest concern before the game last night was how Nichushkin would perform in his first competitive action with the Stars. Well, good news, ladies and gentlemen, he did pretty well.

McKenzie opened the scoring with 7:07 left in the first, banging home a Brendan Ranford shot to break the scoreless tie.

Less than a minute later, Nichushkin broke in on net and beat Blues goalie Jordan Binnington with a pretty backhand shot to make it a 2-0 game.Nichushkin, Dallas' first round pick (10th overall) in this summer's draft, had an impressive showing in the game.

"He was outstanding," said Nill. "We counted the first five shifts and he had five scoring chances. For a younger kid out here he was pretty impressive."[Stars Inside Edge]

Emphasis mine.

Find more video at Mark Stepneski's YouTube page here, including a Radek Faksa goal and Jamie Oleksiak's bout, for which he was ejected. [YouTube]

Tonight at 6:30 PM CT, the Stars prospects take on the Detroit Red Wings prospects, who won their first game against the Minnesota Wild prospects 3-1. Since the Stars will be the "home" team, tonight will be the first time the team will wear the Victory Green jerseys.The game will also feature the farm system Jim Nill used to overlook. Will Nill's new squad overcome the old one? The answer will come later tonight.

***

It's been a busy offseason for the Dallas Stars, and the changes have Jamie Benn excited for the upcoming season. Since he is a primary candidate to be the next Dallas Stars captain, Benn explains that if chosen, he will want to fulfill that role and be somebody who leads by example. [Fox Sports Southwest]

Continuing the discussion with Jamie Benn, remember how much fun he had playing for the Texas Stars? He dominated during their playoff run in 2010, scoring 14 goals and 12 assists in 24 games. Ross Bonander explains that when Benn arrived in Cedar Park, he blazed a trail that led Texas to its first Calder Cup Finals appearance in its inaugural season. [The Hockey Writers]

Not to beat this blog's most dead horse, but here is a two-part series that explains how the Dallas Stars' defense, namely Alex Goligoski, is prone to the turnover bug. There are a few errors, however, such as the author misusing the word "ratio," and how Goligoski had a "turnover ratio" of -35 courtesy of five takeaways and 38 giveaways. What he has instead is a -33 "turnover differential," since you need a fraction to have a ratio. The second part of the series illustrates a formula that concludes Brenden Dillon is the Stars' biggest defensive liability, even though that is not the case at all.[iSportsWeb][iSportsWeb]

Former Dallas Star Mike Modano, who's kind of a big deal around here, married his girlfriend Allison Micheletti this past Sunday. Brenden Morrow, Darryl Sydor, Marty Turco and Brett Hull were all in attendance. Congratulations to Mike and Allison. [Dallas Morning News]

In the Central Division, the Minnesota Wild unveiled its new road uniform, and it looks sharp. [NHL]

The Chicago Blackhawks and defenseman NiklasHjalmarsson agreed to a five-year contract extension that will keep him in the Windy City until the 2018-2019 season. Hjalmarsson, arguably good enough to be a #1 defenseman on any other team besides the Blackhawks, is not going anywhere anytime soon. [Blackhawks Official Website]

Check out the size of Pepsi Center's new scoreboard. I'm not sure why a scoreboard the size of a basketball court is necessary, but who am I to judge? [Imgur]

Although this was mentioned in yesterday's links post, the Predators taught everybody a lesson in how to turn an embarrassing mistake into something utterly hysterical, as they embraced "Perds" by changing their twitter avatar to read "GO PERDS!" The organization also sent a follow-up email to season ticket holders explaining its excitement for the season, featuring a comical series of misspelled words. [Twitter][Predators]

Elsewhere around the league, over the summer, the Buffalo Sabres released weekly teaser images of their new third jerseys in order to generate excitement for the new alternate sweaters. On Wednesday, they finally unveiled their jerseys by having former Dallas Star Steve Ott "leak" the uniforms. The revelation was well-done, but the product itself is...well...not that great. It has me wondering: Are third jerseys really necessary? [Puck Daddy]

In a battle of which North American country has an uglier Olympic hockey jersey, Canada just tied the United States. And yes, there are fake laces on this jersey, too. [Imgur]

Down Goes Brown chronicles cases of NHLers getting attacked by animals after a chipmunk bit Mike Fisher's hand while he was trying to get it out of his house. Tyler Seguin even gets a mention in this article. [Down Goes Brown]

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