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Stargazing: Counting the Long Hot Summer Days...

25 Days Remaining Until Training Camp

46 Days Until Season Opener at New Jersey

Yes, we're creeping along slow and steady. Closer and closer. It's nearly September. There's hockey in September. Meanwhile, trying to find Dallas Stars news is harder than trying to stay cool in this 103 degree summer heat. The shootout is taking quite a beating lately, and rightfully so. It's such a "fan" favorite that it's removal seems unlikely, but everyone connected with the game is trying to discredit and diminish it's legitimacy, and the first blow has been struck with this new rule about tie breaking procedures, however unimpactful it might be. Tie breakers between 8th and 9th place teams could make or break someone's year, but this is little more than insult toward the shootout. It does nothing to diminish lift in the standings the Coyotes received last season from winning 14 skills competitions as Bryzgalov carried them to OT and beyond every other night.

The Stars used to receive a similar benefit, of course, back in 2005-2006 when they led the league with 12 shootout victories. This year they instead led the league with 10 shootout losses.