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. Stargazing will run on Mondays and Thursdays, becoming a daily feature once the preseason begins.
With the bitter news that our long time hero and defensive rock Sergei Zubov will return to his native Russia next season to play his hockey, the picture has come almost completely into focus. One (not so) minor detail remaining is the naming of the other assistant coach; the one responsible for running the defense. Stu Barnes, of course, remains to work with the forwards and Marc Crawford. Be sure to check back with us for reaction and discussion should an announcement be made this week.
Stars News and Notes:
Huddy worked with young skilled defensemen in Edmonton and will probably get a similar chance here if he is named the assistant coach. What's more, he ran a fairly open system up in Edmonton, and can bring that kind of thinking to the Stars if that's what Crawford has in mind (and I think he does).
In fact, this job might be one of the most important in the organization over the next few years.
An excellent point.
Huddy, who won five Stanley Cups here, three of them as Paul Coffey's defence partner, did a nice job with young blue-liners Denis Grebeshkov, Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid. Huddy was let go along with fellow assistant Billy Moores.
There was conjecture Huddy might wind up in Tampa because he played with Tocchet in Los Angeles, but there is an Oilers-Stars coaching connection.
Five rings? Is that all?
Scott Burnside seems to perhaps be of the opinion we've seen echoed around the web that Zubov maybe owes the Stars a little something after two seasons scarce in ice time, but bountiful in bucks:
Have we seen the last of world-class defenseman Sergei Zubov, who reportedly is leaning toward returning to his native Russia to play in the KHL after ending his long-standing relationship with the Dallas Stars? We can't help but feel sorry for the Stars, who supported Zubov through a couple of injury-plagued seasons -- and paid him handsomely while he rehabilitated -- but couldn't persuade him to return to Big D.
I can't speak for everyone here at Big D, but I certainly wouldn't feel sorry for us were I looking at this from another point of view. Every team that signs a guy to a contract runs the same risk. He got hurt. It happens. He doesn't owe anyone anything, and I cannot wait to see his number in the rafters of the AAC. Nothing but love for you, Zubie.
James Ragland at The Morning News followed up on the story of the abandoned child, now safely with her father, that Trevor Daley and the Stars Foundation generously donated to last week:
He even bragged about how Bella is such a good sleeper. "I can put her down around 10 or 10:30 at night, and she'll sleep until about 7:30 in the morning," he said. "Everybody tells me I'm a lucky guy."
...His mom, Mary Smith, a 54-year-old medical technician, was there when I visited: "He's a good dad," said Smith.
Since folks are beginning to see that, more good things are happening. This week, some Dallas Stars officials came by with some gifts for Bella, including a small jersey. The Dallas Stars Foundation also presented Bynum with a $2,500 check for Bella's scholarship fund, and star defenseman Trevor Daley gave another $2,500.
Glad to hear father and daughter are doing well.
The Canadiens team web site put up a chat with Mike Modano's wife, Willa Ford last week, in case you missed it (I did) and asked her a thing or two about Mo:
Your husband has some pretty nice locks. Who spends more time on their hair: you or him?
WF: (laughs) Who obsesses more over their hair is the question! He’s more obsessed, but obviously mine takes more time. You know, it’s funny, he doesn’t really put that much into it but he talks about it a lot. When it starts to get too long, I’ll say something and he’ll tell me he’s growing it out and I’m like, ‘Yeah, but in a helmet, it kind of looks like a mullet.’ For the fans, though, if things are going well, I’m not going to make him cut it. Hockey is all about the beard and the hair, after all.
No surprises there.
Around the Pacific:
- Check out Andrew's Stars Page, who has a nice piece on the Kings and what the future may hold for them.
- Battle of California discusses possibility of Heatley on the Sharks (on a line with big Joe, no less)
There are plenty of sources out there talking Sharks and Heatley, apparently.
- You can continue reading about the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes, if you like. Now there might be another problem. I know...you're shocked.
Around the NHL:
- Long, front loaded deals (like Hossa's) are being investigated to determine whether retirements are being discussed in contract negotiating, in an effort to minimize cap hit.
- Pronger's deal as well.
- Puck Daddy has a great (although discouraging) piece about something very near and dear to my heart: Roller hockey. Does familiarity with the game breed NHL fans? And will the decline in popularity of inline hockey be a blow for the NHL down the line?
- And finally from the Detroit Free Press, Apaprently Nick Lidstrom is just never going to retire.