If the NHL lockout wraps up sometime this fall, Dallas Stars fans may still have a chance to see last year's first-round draft pick on a short-term stint in the big leagues.
Late Tuesday afternoon, TSN guru Bob McKenzie revealed the NHL asked its teams to submit a short-list of junior players they would like the option to recall if the lockout ends in short course. In a normal season, these players would be allowed to attend training camp and play in the preseason before playing in up to a nine NHL regular-season games before officially starting their entry level contracts. Obviously, with training camps and preseason shelved because of the lockout, that's not an option this season.
According to McKenzie, the Stars turned in three intriguing names.
PIT Harrington, Maata, Pouliot; DAL Faksa, Stranksy, Ritchie. NOTE: Just cuz player on list doesn't mean he will be recalled, means he can.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 25, 2012
Radek Faksa is the obvious name that jumps out, as the Stars first-round pick from last summer was thought in some circles to be close to NHL ready. He has already started the season with the Kitchner Rangers.
Brett Ritchie is coming off a strong year with the Niagra IceDogs, and Matej Stransky was better than a point-per-game player last season with the Saskatoon Blades.
As McKenzie mentioned, just because a player is mentioned on this list doesn't mean he would definitely be recalled, and it's unclear whether they could be recalled for whatever shortened training-camp hybrid the teams would go through. And if the lockout stretches into December and beyond, McKenzie wrote, "dynamics could change."
But it does give us a good sense as to where the Stars believe these players are on their development curves, and for an organization that has been a little starved for top-tier prospect talent in recent seasons, it's a nice change to see three guys they feel could be worth a look-see at making the jump to the big time.