[Editor's note by Brandon Worley] I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce the newest member of our team here at Defending Big D. Brad G comes to us from his excellent Dallas Stars blog at HockeyAnalysis.com, and will become our resident news reporter of sorts. Brad will be providing us with our daily morning Dallas Stars and hockey news; during the offseason Stargazing will run about every other day but once the season starts it will become a daily feature. This wouldn't be possible without Brad's hard work.
Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars news, as well as a look at what's happening around the Pacific division and the rest of the NHL.
This Friday in Stargazing:
- Jonas Gustavsson's big night in Big D included fun at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington; the Swede's agent reveals that Gustavsson isn't necessarily looking to be the #1 goaltender this season.
- The Stars look into purchasing the Iowa Chops (formally Iowa Stars)
- Could James Neal make the All-Rookie team?
- Chris Pronger trade rumors? And other Pacific Division news
- Reaction to NHL awards in Las Vegas
And is Jim Balsillie going to give it a rest any time soon?...
Tom Hicks is still the majority owner of the Rangers, at least for now, and as such the Stars used the baseball venue to show Swedish prospect Jonas Gustavsson a good time last night. The Dallas Morning News reports:
He is at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington tonight, where he met former President George W. Bush.
Then, Gustavsson and Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk each threw out a first pitch before the game against the Astros.
President Bush was in attendance on account of the owner's suite being named for him, not necessarily because he wants "The Monster" wearing black next year.
Mr. Heika had a chat with Gustavsson's agent tonight, who revealed the following:
``He's looking at team philosophy and where the team is going and what they are thinking,'' Resnick said. ``This is a decision that's not a one-year decision, it's a long-term decision. We're looking at years two, three, four and five, that's our game plan.''
Still, Resnick said Gustavsson knows the transition could be tough.
``It's tough to be a goalie and it's tough to start off and play 50 games,'' Resnick said. ``He's a very good goalie, but I think the ideal situation is he plays 20 or 25 games, and then moves forward from that.''
20-25 games? It seems like the Stars could definitely work that out.
Meanwhile, The Des Moines Register details the financial struggles of Dallas' old AHL franchise, turned from Iowa Stars to Iowa Chops:
Concerns about the hockey team began when the National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks ended their affiliation agreement with the Chops in May, citing lack of payment by the Chops. The Des Moines Register later reported that the Chops' owners used the franchise as collateral on a 2008 loan, a violation of AHL rules.
Ironically, the club's struggles since the end of the Dallas/Iowa affiliation could help fill a need of The Stars to purchase an AHL franchise.
- Club owners had hoped to sell the AHL franchise to a local ownership group, but attempts to do so over the past year have failed. Club officials have declined to name groups with whom the have talked, but the owners of the NHL Dallas Stars are in the market for a franchise to play in a new arena in a suburb of Austin, Texas, beginning this fall.
Dallas needs to purchase a franchise sometime in the next year to complete the newly formed 'Texas Stars' membership into the AHL.
James Neal was not included in the NHL All-Rookie team, The Vancouver Sun reports:
Toronto Maple Leaf blue-liner Luke Schenn is joined by L.A. King Drew Doughty on defence.
Up front, St. Louis Blue Patrik Bergland is joined by Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks and Kris Versteeg of the Chicago Blackhawks.
That's a pretty strong rookie class. 5 of the 6 spots were taken by Western Conference players.
Lost in the drama surrounding the firing of Dave Tippett and the hiring of Marc Crawford, DallasStars.com has been running a daily feature that looks back on every playoff win of the 1999 Stanley Cup Champions. There's just two left; yesterday the Finals game five victory over Buffalo was featured. Today it's game six.
In the Pacific Division:
- Click on over to our friends at Battle of California and follow the fascinating story of a Chris Pronger trade rumor that got completely out of hand, making it as far as a Canadian television station 'The Score".
The Bleacher Report asks if the aforementioned Iowa Chops situation could see Ducks prospects playing with Mike Keane and The Manitoba Moose next season.
Jeremy Roenick, all 39 years of him, says he'll decide on his future in the coming weeks.
- Coyotes fans tried to band together to save their team, and say the local media in Phoenix turned on them.
Around the NHL:
It was a Russian heavy night at the NHL awards in Las Vegas. Get the highlights from our link roundup:
- ESPN's Scott Burnside has notes on the awards and about the presentation in general.
Malkin scoreboards Ovechkin (Canadian Press):
He wasn't upset about seeing Ovechkin collect the two MVP awards.
"I try to win next year and after," said Malkin. "I have the big trophy so..."
- Some other Russian guy won his second consecutive Lady Byng and Selke trophies.
- And The NY Post brings you a few awards you didn't see on the telecast last night, including the "Sean Avery Words of Wisdom Award".
- ESPN says "The fight is over" for Balsillie. Foxsports.com says "Nuh-uh"!