The Dallas Stars will have their final practice at the MacLauchlan Arena on Prince Edward Island this morning, finalizing the initial installation of new coach Glen Gulutzan's system in preparation for the first preseason game with Montreal on Tuesday.
General manager Joe Nieuwendyk told P.E.I. newspaper The Guardian that the contract with Charlottetown is on a year-to-year basis and that it will be evaluated by the new ownership group once everything with the bankruptcy case is settled. But he said he is pleased with what the team has gained from the experience the past two seasons.
"Last year was our first year and I really think that we gained a valuable experience coming here. It brought the team close," he said.
"I think early on it was really good for us. It kind of just set the table for the rest of training camp and this year it will be the same thing. It's good. I think when you're in Texas it's hot and I know all the years I played there it was important to get away for a few days and this is a great town with a small community feel that loves hockey. It's a good start."
Although P.E.I.-native Brad Richards signed with the New York Rangers in the offseason, the Stars still value the relationship with the city and province, Nieuwendyk said.
"This year may be more important in some ways. Last year we had Brad Richards and he always a real tie to the community and this year we have seven new faces with the team. So I think it's important we mingle in with the town like we did last year and the guys come together, that's how you start to build your team."
The residents of P.E.I. seem to appreciate the Stars as well. Approximately 3,000 people attended Sunday's intersquad scrimmage, which was won by Team Black 4-3 in the shootout. To put that number in perspective, there are about 140,000 people on the island, so about 2 percent of the population turned out. Two percent of the Metroplex would be 126,000 people, or more than the capacity of the new Cowboys Stadium.
After the jump, Vernon Fiddler defines "hard to play against," Razor does his best crabby old man impersonation and breaking down the league's new social media policy.
- It's a phrase we've heard again and again and again - the Stars want to be "hard to play against." Vernon Fiddler was one of the players the team picked up to shore up that identity, and he explains exactly how he intends to accomplish that. [ESPN Dallas]
- There's not a lot of free news about the start of camp from the Dallas Morning News, which didn't sent a writer to P.E.I., but the paper does have another paywall story up about some of the changes Gulutzan is making. [DallasNews.com]
- Razor talks about how during his training camps, they made teams walk uphill both ways in the snow. Also, he would like these young whippersnappers to get off his lawn. [Razor with an Edge]
- The official site has several post-practice and post-scrimmage interviews with coaches and players.[DallasStars.com]
- Scouting the enemy: Some younger Montreal Canadiens to keep an eye on in Tuesday's preseason opener, including Brendan Gallagher and Mathieu Darche. [CTV.ca]
- I mentioned this a few days ago, but here are the specifics for the NHL's new social media policy. Personally, I think it's fairly reasonable as far as these things go. I mean, as much fun as live tweeting from practice would be, I can understand why coaches might frown on it. [Puck Daddy]
- Mike Smith was as good a backup as the Stars have had in recent memories, but he has yet to find that level of success as a starter. What will the Coyotes do if that trend holds true this year? [ArizonaSports.com]