Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars and Texas Stars news, and whatever other random ramblings are bouncing around inside our heads.
Well, this has been a couple of pretty exciting days for the Dallas Stars. A couple of contract extensions, a successful trip to Austin and opening night just around the corner.
Be sure to check Defending Big D tomorrow morning, as we'll have a special feature marking the official start of the 2009-2010 Dallas Stars season. We'll also have our popular game thread up, like we do for every game, so be sure to come hop in and join the conversation.
Tonight on Stargazing: We take a quick look at the financial situation of the Dallas Stars, and what these latest developments mean for the team long-term. We'll also take a look at the projected lines for tomorrow, the Texas Stars have finalized their roster, and Mike Ribeiro chats with fans.
Jere Lehtinen will not be playing tomorrow.
Jere Lehtinen (hip/groin) skated in a full practice for the first time this season Friday and looked really good.
However, coach Marc Crawford said Lehtinen will not be in the lineup in the season opener on Saturday and is shooting for Tuesday against Edmonton.
We also seem to have locked into these lines to start the game tomorrow night against Nashville:
Man, I just cannot wait to see what Benn can do on that line with Morrow and Ribeiro.
There are only 5 teams in the NHL spending less money on payroll this year than the Dallas Stars, and the Sharks, Ducks and Kings are actually spending more. In spite of all of this, there is a great optimism about the upcoming season, and the Stars consider their team one that will contend for a playoff spot. So do I, for what it's worth.
The point is that the reason the Stars are so dangerous this year on a budget, is the same reason they could be just as anemic for many years to come: Their production is coming from players performing beyond their pay grade; players that will need deals soon.
The David Booth deal seems like a good blueprint. If you look at their career paths and stats, they match up almost exactly (Booth, Eriksson). But they gave Booth 6 years. Would you pay Loui $4.25 million? If he pots 40 next year, are you willing to go 5 million?
-Will Dallas Stars Be Able to Keep Their Young Talent?
August 21, 2009; Defending Big D
All summer fans have grimaced and moaned as we've watched other teams spend freely up the cap, including Pacific division rivals San Jose. The Stars were forced to sit pat, signing a few low-grade free agents to minimal deals while operating on a budget well below the salary cap. The financial situation of the team, directly tied into that of the Texas Rangers because of owner Tom Hicks, was dire and no one knew exactly when that burden would be lifted. It also did not bode too well for the future, with so many of the players on the roster set to become unrestricted and restricted free agents next summer.
Yet in the past two days, the Dallas have locked two of their key players to long-term deals, inking Stephane Robidas and Loui Eriksson to contract extensions. While the length of the Robidas contract can be debated, there's no doubt that getting Eriksson signed to a deal as soon as possible was a top priority for the Stars.
If Joe Nieuwendyk had been forced to wait until later this season, or even next summer, to open up the pocket book there's a good chance this deal never happens. Last season Eriksson was in the top 15 in scoring in the NHL while making just $1.6 million. Playing next to a rejuvenated Brad Richards on what has quickly become the Stars' most dynamic line, Eriksson has the potential to eclipse 40 goals this season and finish once more near the top of the league in scoring.
$4.5 million on the open market such a prolific scorer? Never going to happen.
This also means that the Stars are determined to stick to a plan and get their roster set for next season as early as possible. With Eriksson's extension, the Stars now have ELEVEN players under contract for the 2010-11 season for a total payroll of $29 million. Oh yeah, they're also still paying Sean Avery $2 million. But with the pocket book loosened up a bit, Nieuwendyk should be more free to do what is needed for this team long-term.
Brenden Morrow was on BAD radio with Bob Sturm today.
Andrew's Dallas Stars Page has the audio.
Hey Mike. I've gotta say that you are turning into my favorite Star to watch on the ice. You're goal in the shootout against Colorado was a thing of beauty. How did you decide to go with that shot?
(the between the legs shot)It was a game that didn't mean anything for a playoff spot, so it was something I was practicing a lot and decided to do. I was quite lucky to get it.I won't do it again. It's touchy. It's important to win games and it's a tough move to do. We were out of the playoffs, so the pressure was off. It was more for show than anything else. During the season, when you're trying to make the playoffs, those points are important. You have to score and not be too fancy.
-Mike Ribeiro's chat on ESPN Dallas.
Here is the final roster for the Texas Stars:
2009-10 Texas Stars Opening Day Roster
Goalies (2) -
#33 Matt Climie
#37 Brent Krahn
Defense (8) -
#2 Brandon Straub
#4 Dan Jancevski
#5 Garrett Stafford
#10 Andrew Hutchinson
#18 Maxime Fortunus
#20 Matt Stephenson
#24 Trevor Ludwig
#29 Ivan Vishnevskiy
Forwards (15) -
#7 Colton Sceviour
#9 Kevin DeVergilio
#11 Aaron Gagnon
#12 Scott McCulloch
#13 Raymond Sawada
#15 Michael Neal
#17 Perttu Lindgren
#19 Tyler Shelast
#22 Landon Wilson
#23 Travis Morin
#26 Mathieu Beaudoin
#27 Greg Rallo
#32 Sergei Korostin
#38 Francis Wathier
#40 Mathieu Tousignant