In nearly all the on-paper rosters people have been putting together this summer, defenseman Brenden Dillon starts the season with the Dallas Stars.
And there's good reason for that. The 6-foot-3 defenseman who was signed as the Stars as an undrafted free agent in March 2011 was among the best defensemen with the AHL's Texas Stars last season, and he looked more than ready when he made his NHL debut in the season finale.
While jumping to the big leagues full-time is a huge step, particularly for defensemen, everyone around Dillon seems to be confident of his ability to make the transition. His large frame at 220 pounds and solid puck sense also made him one of the biggest standouts at the recently concluded development camp.
Quite an achievement for a guy who was also passed over in his first WHL Bantam draft when he stood a measly 5-2.
"I’ve come a long way, but until I am a full-time Dallas Star, the journey is not over yet," said Dillon. "This summer is a big summer for me. With what’s gone on in free agency and the offseason you realize the opportunity and it comes down to how bad you want it. That’s what the summer is for."
After the jump, why any Mike Modano comeback probably wouldn't involve the Stars, where to head tonight if you want to hang out with the Ludwig boys and all the CBA negotiations optimism I can dredge up.
- There's not much other Stars news to be had out there right now save for the continuing speculation around Mike Modano and his vague interest at attempting a comeback. In Mike Heika's chat on Tuesday, he explained why he didn't think the Stars would be the right fit for either side at this time. [DallasNews.com]
- All of those Modano stories came from the interviews he gave while talking about his selection to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Assuming he stays retired, and all signs are that he will, it will be the first in a nice line of honors that should be headed his way. [Fox Sports Southwest]
- Razor is back from the Canadian wilderness, or at least he found his way to the internet for a little while to give his take on his comically low ranking in the "DFW's Most Powerful Top 1,000" list. [Razor with an Edge]
- Stephen over at Hundred Degree Hockey takes a look at how the Texas Stars roster is shaping up. Remember, even if the NHL heads into labor oblivion for a while, the AHL generally continues to play through it since the league is affiliated with a different union. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- Looking for something fun and hockey related to do tonight in the Metroplex? Craig Ludwig and his twin boys Trevor and Tyler will be out at B.J.'s Restaurant in Allen from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. to talk about Allen Americans hockey and how you manage to raise twin professional hockey players without having them murder each other in knee hockey growing up. [DallasNews.com]
- I'm not sure which of these facts surprises me more - that the Detroit Red Wings were apparently willing to pay a very large price to acquire Rick Nash via trade or the the Columbus Blue Jackets aren't interested in dealing with them. [MLive.com]
- As people have been searching for some optimism, any optimism about the ongoing labor talks, some have pointed out that the much richer television deal is incentive for both sides to not let the standoff linger too long. Please let them be right. [Puck Daddy]
- Gary Roberts has been working with Stars as a conditioning consultant for nearly two years now, and if you need a reminder on why he is the perfect person to put a little fear of God into a prospect to get in better shape, here's a nice visual image. [Backhand Shelf]
- We heard about the main points of the NHL's opening offer in the CBA negotiations late last week. Now here's a look at the finer details. [Down Goes Brown]
- I'm not usually the biggest fan of hockey fights, but this does hold a place as one of my favorite Stars memories. I can't remember if this was the game where Sergei Zubov was made of absolute magic (which I know was in a 2-1 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes, but I don't remember if it was in 2003), but Aaron Downey's one-punch of Jesse Boulerice makes the game memorable even without that.