With the signings of Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, the Dallas Stars have become one of the NHL's poster children for incorporating veterans while maintaining a commitment to a youth movement.
And that trend has garnered some national attention. After all, the Stars aren't the only team out there signing older players to one or two year deals. The New Jersey Devils committed a significant amount of money to another year of Martin Brodeur. Sami Salo got two years with the Tampa Bay Lightning. And Steve Sullivan, no spring chicken at 37, signed a one-year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.
There are a number of reasons for this trend, not the least of which is the continued success of some of the league's elder statesmen over the past few seasons. And a lot of that comes down to those players knowing themselves and their limits. When someone like Jagr says something like this:
"I'm not going to promise you anything," said Jagr. "I can tell you one thing I'm going to give 100 percent to be the best I can be. I just cannot be average. I cannot do it.
"Once I feel I cannot play anymore, I'm not going to play. There's not a chance."
One tends to believe him.
After the jump, getting ready for development camp, it's still the Jaromir Jagr show and get to know the newest Stars center.
- If you're planning to head out to the development camp in Frisco over the next several days, Mike Heika's got you covered in this paywalled article. [DallasNews.com]
- Not surprisingly, given that Jagr gave his first interview as a member of the Dallas Stars on Thursday, nearly all of the Stars-related articles out there are about him. Even NHL.com decided to get caught up in the action. [NHL.com]
- Mac Engel still hasn't quite come around on this veteran-acquisition strategy, though he sees a little more value in Jagr than he did the team's other moves. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- In the not-shocking development of my evening, all the Canadian media got hung up on the fact that Jagr mentioned he was interested in playing for the Montreal Canadiens. This is pretty representative. [Sportsnet.ca]
- You know how the Stars have been pretty liberal in giving veterans lots of practices off as the season goes on? Jagr doesn't plan on taking advantage of that luxury. [DallasNews.com]
- There will be quite a few of the "should the Stars have said screw this year and go full-scale young guys" articles out there, at least until the season starts and we can see how this thing looks in practice rather than just in theory. But this one gives a pretty well-reasoned take on the issue. [The Hockey Writers]
- Someone you might recognize thinks the Stars are actually laying out the blueprint for rebuilding on the fly. [NHLNumbers.com]
- For those of you looking for something to do on July 24 in the area of McKinney, Jim Lites will be speaking to the local Chamber of Commerce. [Town Square Buzz]
- Consensus around Stars-land is that the team still needs a significant upgrade on defense. Given the comfortable amount of cap room they've got right now, is it time to ask if they'd be willing to trade a bunch of good draft picks for a long-term offer sheet to Shea Weber? [The Tennessean]
- Weekly semi-depressing semi-hopeful CBA negotiations update. [San Jose Mercury News]
- If you've fallen behind on this offseason or just need a refresher on the Stars moves, Todd's got you covered. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- Ralph Strangis caught up with the newest Stars center, one Derek Roy, and brings you a fairly comprehensive interview that should fill your non-Jagr hockey quotient for today.