True to new head coach Glen Gulutzan's word, the Dallas Stars made a major round of roster cuts on Sunday, bringing their roster to 25, two more than the 23-man limit they will need to be down to by the season opener.
Assuming one of those cuts is Scott Glennie, who will either get medically cleared and be assigned to the Texas Stars or open the season on NHL injured reserve, neither of which counts against the limit, that leaves the Stars with just one more cut to make before the roster for the game against the Chicago Blackhawks is set.
Odds are, that cut is young defenseman Philip Larsen. With eight defensemen on the roster, no reported injuries and none of the one-way contracts as likely to clear waivers as enforcer Eric Godard was, Larsen told ESPN Dallas he is just trying to live in the moment.
"You don’t know what is going to happen, but it is a really nice feeling to be here," said Larsen. "You want to be here and you’re feeling more and more part of the team. Then again, you never know. But it is always like that."
The forward spots may be set with young Czech winger Tomas Vincour claiming the final spot. According to ESPN Dallas, he was skating on a line with Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn in Monday's practice while Steve Ott was playing with Radek Dvorak and Vernon Fiddler. We'll see how that plays out in the long run.
After the jump, more on last night's alumni game, Kari Lehtonen gets himself a new mask and Mike Smith earns the opening-night start for the Coyotes.
- Brad already job a great job of recapping the alumni game that happened last night in Frisco, but there's a lot of quality comedy in this article from the official site, particularly this quote from Kari Lehtonen in his acting role as coach: "It doesn’t matter who it is, I’m not afraid to bench them if they’re not playing as planned, so it’s an opportunity for everybody to show me what they’ve got." [DallasStars.com]
- And here's the DMN's look at last night's fun, though this one is behind the omnipresent paywall. [DallasNews.com]
- If you have an ESPN Insider subscription, this season preview is probably worth a look. [ESPN Insider]
- Lehtonen has some of the coolest masks in the NHL, and while his next version doesn't have the pop culture references of his recent Kill Bill or Chuck Norris masks, it certainly will appeal to those of us who love the Lone Star State. And possibly rabid bulls. [inGoal magazine]
- For the 1,043rd time, preseason doesn't necessarily mean anything, particularly when it comes to predicting team success in the regular season. But it can show trends that might carry over to when the games really matter. This article points out some of the trends Stars fans hope continue, particularly that Mike Ribeiro leading the entire NHL in scoring thing. [TheHockeyWriters.com]
- As far as season previews go, especially in media that has nothing to do with the Stars, this one has paid a remarkable amount of attention to the aforementioned preseason trends as it takes a look at all five teams in the Pacific Division. [Toronto Sun]
- Former Stars backup and owner of several of the coolest masks in the NHL, Mike Smith, has been tabbed as the opening-night starter for the Phoenix Coyotes. His success this season will go a long way to determining if the Yotes remain in the playoff picture. [AZCentral.com]
- Noted Star-killer Lubomir Visnovsky is settling in with the Anaheim Ducks, probably dreaming of the two extra opportunities for hat tricks he has this season. Also, it appears he's yet another defenseman who came away from the Edmonton Oilers with a bad taste in his mouth. [NHL.com]
- Finally, former Star Fabian Brunnstrom has apparently earned himself a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings. No word on money and if it's a one-or-two-way deal. [The Production Line]