Steve Ott is still officially questionable for Friday's game against the Colorado Avalanche, but Dallas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan was dropping hints that the master of irritainment is likely out.
He missed his second practice in a row Wednesday with a hip injury, and his absence led to some shuffling among the top 6 forwards.
Instead of just moving a forward up onto the Jamie Benn-Loui Eriksson line, Gulutzan slid winger Michael Ryder down (or up) with that duo and moved Eriksson over to the left. Meanwhile, Adam Burish, who is probably as close to an Ott clone as the team has at the moment, moved up to play with Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow.
Or you can read that all in Mike Heika's words here.
With Steve Ott questionable for Friday's game against Colorado because of nagging hip injury, Gulutzan and his coaching staff moved Loui Eriksson from the right wing to the left wing and into Ott's place on Jamie Benn's line. He then dropped Ryder into Eriksson's spot and put Adam Burish into Ryder's right wing spot.
"We just thought we would move Loui so he could have a few practices at left wing, and we wanted to maybe look at that Burish, Morrow and Ribby line, so this gives us a free peek," Gulutzan said. "It's kind of a free look at something that was in the back of our heads, so we'll see how it goes."
It's an interesting experiment to say the least, but like most of Gulutzan's decisions so far, I can absolutely see the logic behind the moves. It's definitely worth a try, especially with Ott not being available.
After the jump, catching up with Eric Nystrom, why it's so important for players to have their border-crossing paperwork in order and a wonderful new video feature from the Stars site. It involves sweater vests and the rubbing of Ralph Strangis' hair.
- There was some reporter brainshare going on Wednesday as Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas and the official site both wrote about the transition of Eric Nystrom to the team. I liked the official site's article better, so there. [DallasStars.com]
- The Canadian media chimes in on the trade that sent Stars goalie prospect Jack Campbell to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. [London Free Press]
- Garrett Burnett didn't play for the Stars very long, and I admit I lost track of him after a while. Apparently he suffered a nasty traumatic brain injury in a bar fight in 2006, and he just lost a lawsuit trying to recover some damages from the local cops, which had apparently made 2,400 calls to this bar. [CBC]
- Several Stars defensemen, including Sheldon Souray, Alex Goligoski and Stephane Robidas make well-reasoned appearances in this fantasy column focusing on the league's blueliners. [ESPN]
- This story isn't about the Stars per se, but it's an AP story that garnered a mention in the DMN. The NHL is apparently targeting the day after Thanksgiving to make a splash on NBC, including putting an entry in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have so many funny ideas for that, but I'm sure the league will be boring and straight-laced. [DallasNews.com]
- Around the Pacific Division: Could also be subtitled "meet the enemy, part the first," since the Avs were involved in the only Pacific Division game of the night, losing to the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 despite a sizeable shot advantage. Mike Smith apparently played very well. [Yahoo]
- Meet the enemy: The Mile High Hockey take on the game is good for some giggles. I get the feeling they don't care very much for the Dave Tippett school of hockey. [Mile High Hockey]
- We take a lot of things for granted about having a very international league, but there is a lot of paperwork and red tape that has to go on behind the scenes, as this story from the ECHL demonstrates nicely. [Inland Valley Daily Bulletin]
- This relatively new blog makes a nice, humorous entry into the hockey world with this teams-to-bands comparison post. While I don't quite agree with their rationale for the Stars band, several others are quite funny. C'mon, you know you can buy the Calgary Flames as *NSYNC. [Puck Drunk Love]
- A new, hopefully frequent video feature from the Stars called "Unlaced," where a player sits down for a much less formal interview than we normally see. In this first installment, Ralph Strangis finds out how Sheldon Souray met his girlfriend, how he styles his hair and why, exactly, he wears so many sweater vests. Awesome.