I guess I couldn't stay away forever.
Last week I stepped down from my post at Pro Hockey Talk, and started talking to Brad about eventually coming back here to Defending Big D. After a rough couple of months, which led to my decision to leave PHT, I had decided it would be best to step away from blogging and writing for a least a month or so. I just needed some time away, some time to regather myself.
Talking to Brad and the other guys here at DBD, the plan was for me to come back later this fall, but certain circumstances have sort of pushed that timetable up a bit.
Brad is going to continue to be the managing editor here at DBD and run things. He's done an incredible job since I turned things over to him, and he's going to keep on rolling with it. I'm not going to just jump back in, pumping out three posts per day like before. But I am going to be rejoining the team here, and hopefully continue to build upon the great job they've been doing the past few months. Our goal here is to always improve and continue to provide the best Dallas Stars news and analysis we possibly can.
I'm also going to be contributing to SB Nation Dallas-Fort Worth, serving as a weekly columnist -- opining on the Stars, Cowboys, Mavericks and Rangers.
So one thing that always remains the same with me, is I've got an opinion and something to say about the Stars. So here's what's been on my mind the past week or so.
A few days ago, someone wrote a column somewhere that seemed to openly hint that the Dallas Stars lost some young talent because of the team's financial trouble. The column brought up the "three young and promising prospects" that departed via free agency for Phoenix, who supposedly will be reaping the benefits of the Stars' misfortunes.
Let me assure you: the loss of Matt Climie, Matthew Beaudoin and Garrett Stafford will not be hurting the Dallas Stars' future. The Texas Stars will certainly feel their losses, but Joe Nieuwendyk can't make financial decisions based on whether the Stars' AHL team will be hurting. I'm not expecting to see these players spend any significant time in the NHL anytime soon, and if they do then great for them.
This isn't a loss of Colton Sceviour or Philip Larsen. It's Garrett Stafford.
But no matter what has happened (or hasn't happened) because of the Stars' financial issues, we have yet to see the Stars actually lose their own talent because of it. These three were likely on their way out, especially considering the entry level contracts the Stars will need to be handing out sometime soon. We may have lost the chance to sign needed talent but you can't say the Stars lost out on some top prospects.
We haven't seen the real Brenden Morrow for almost two years now. Sean Avery came into the Stars' world, Brenden Morrow temporarily lost his mind and then he blew his knee out.
It takes a while for players to fully recover from ACL injuries, and while the general timeline is a year or so, you normally don't see players really get back to being themselves for nearly two years. Just ask Tom Brady.
Unfortunately, Morrow's first year back after his injury came during a tough time for the Stars. The coaching change, the system and philosophy change and the constant changing of the lines left many wondering just where the heck our beloved captain had disappeared to. We caught glimpses of the Morrow we all loved, but he was never the great leader and great playmaker he had become in 2008.
The comments about trying not to get injured so he can play in the Olympics didn't help matters.
This led Stars fans to start calling for a trade, or a change of the captaincy. If Morrow isn't going to be the hard-nosed, relentless leader he needed to be, then perhaps it was time to move.
I'll admit it was tough seeing Morrow struggle last season. Yet we need to give him a chance this season to prove himself, that he is indeed the player that deserves the "C" on his chest.
This season will be the ultimate test, for many players. The sale of the team will be finalized, hopefully soon, and Joe Nieuwendyk can move forward with his plan for truly building this team. This will be Morrow's chance to prove he deserves to stay, especially with contracts coming up over the next few years.
I wrote a story earlier this week about Joe Nieuwendyk's plan, and how he's yet to be able to truly implement it, whatever that might be exactly.
It was then mentioned to me by a fellow writer that the Stars were in a rebuilding mode, and that it's unfortunate that the Stars are in such a low spot.
I begged to differ. The Stars aren't in rebuilding mode. The Stars aren't building through free agency. They aren't selling off assets for prospects and draft picks. They aren't doing anything.
The Stars are stuck in purgatory.
Because of the financial restrictions of the team, the Stars can't go out and get the few extra pieces they really need to take the Stars from being a fringe playoff team to a serious playoff contender. There's no doubt that the Stars are just a couple of pieces away, especially on defense. It would have been really nice to have been able to make a trade for a defenseman that could help out not only this season and in the future.
But it's because the Stars are a talented team with a good future (it's true) that Nieuwendyk can't just go into firesale mode. We the fans (and Nieuwendyk) must bide our time until the sale is complete and we can all just forward.
Until then, it's purgatory.
Update...one more. It's quick.
I've seen it mentioned a couple of times (not just here on DBD) that Mike Modano's decision to move on to Detroit is fueled by a paycheck. Now, I don't know Mike personally but I have to think that this is far, far from the truth.
Ilya Kovalchuk is being fueled by a paycheck.
I can almost guarantee you that Modano's motivation has nothing to do with money. The man has been making millions of dollars for the better part of two decades, he has numerous endorsement deals and despite a failed investment I doubt he's hurting so bad financially he's desperate for one more contract, that's likely to be between $1 - $2 million.