The Dallas Stars players met with the coaching staff today for the final time before the summer lay-off, and several spoke to the media. Brett Hull, the Dallas Stars co-General Manager, also gave his thoughts on the team and the direction they are looking to take this summer.
Courtesy of Mark Stepneski at Andrews' Dallas Stars Page, here are the highlights of what he had to say.
On Sergei Zubov's status with the team, and the Stars' need for a puck-moving defensemen:
You can call it a No. 1 or whatever, but we definitely need a guy that definitely has the ability to run the power play, eat up substantial minutes and add him to our core, which we think is pretty solid.
On Jere Lehtinen's probable return:
We’d love to have Jere back, but there are financial terms out there that we can go to and that he wants,” Hull said. “I am sure it will all get worked out.
On Tobias Stephan's season:
He didn’t have a great camp and never really gave the coach staff a sense he could take the ball and run with it for any stretch of time. With the way our season way going you look for the consistency factor and go back to your No. 1 guy to try to get you that. I was up and down all year.
On needing a viable backup for Marty Turco:
Maybe a guy of enough quality to push Marty to split games. We have confidence a lot of confidence in Marty as well. We’re all human and have down years. Some of that falls on us too. It’s hard to be playing in 75 games a year. That’s an issue we are going to address.
Follow the jump for more notes from Frisco, as well as player news and quotes.
Mark Stepneski also had these notes from Hull on the Stars' salary cap and budget situation:
Hull was asked if the Stars budget would allow them to spend to the cap and he said he no. He didn’t, however know where the budget would take them.
The Stars are in pretty good shape right now as far as the cap. They have 17 likely roster players for a cap cost of about 42 million. That includes the cost of paying half of Sean Avery’s salary. If you add in re-signing Mark Fistric, who is an restricted free agent, and if they were to bring back Zubov and Lehtinen under reasonable deals they would still plenty of room.
James Neal (Canada), Matt Niskanen (USA), and Loui Eriksson, Niklas Grossman and Joel Lundqvist (Sweden) will be playing in the upcoming World Championships in Switzerland.
Trevor Daley, on pushing to become a top-pair defenseman next season:
I don't think I'm there yet. I have a lot to learn and a lot to grow. I'm looking forward to the challenge of getting there. I need to be physically ready for it, able to get up and down the ice. I had some leg injuries that hampered that and I'm looking forward to being healthy and more confident.
Jere Lehtinen, on taking a long vacation to heal before next season, and the possibility of returning to the Stars:
I want to come back, especially being here so long and a season like this, you want to get back and get the team on top again. t's been so great here and we've had a chance every year to go far and this year was a disappointing season overall and I want to come back and be a part of a good team again, a top team.
Brenden Morrow on the possibility of returning for the first round of the playoffs:
I probably would have had to wrestle with the team physician on it, but I had been skating for two weeks and wasn't limited on the ice other than battle drills and had their been a playoff in the future, I would have pushed a little harder and done a little more on the ice, but it wasn't meant to be.
I've been fortunate to have a great career so far with the Stars and as amicable as I could hope for. All I'm really worried about is this summer and what I can do to get ready to have a great start for next year and start setting our sights on getting back to the playoffs and winning a Stanley Cup.
And finally, Mike Modano refused to give any insight on his plans to return next season. Not speaking the media today in Frisco, Modano had his general manager and several teammates give their thoughts on whether he'll be back or not.
“I don’t think he’s retiring,” Daley said. “What does he have to retire for? He still looks good, he can still fly. He doesn’t have any kids. So what’s the point of retiring? What’s he going to do?”
“I don’t think any of us want him to go out the way we did this year,” Morrow said. “I think there’s still some gas left in the tank. He’s going to be a big part of our team next year, hopefully.”
“Mike Modano is the Dallas Stars,” Hull said Monday. “Les and I say it all the time: He’s our boss. He’s been a part of this team for so long and the face of the franchise. We want to do what’s best for him and he wants what’s best for us.”