Finally! Daily Links are mine again! Mwuahaha!
Actually, no. Robert's just busy wrecking cars and galavanting around these United States this weekend, and so I'm picking up the slack. So it goes.
You know, when I last lived in Austin, about eight years ago, the only local hockey one could find was the Ice Bats. And I'd occasionally convince some friends to join me in watching a game of middling quality out at Chaparral Ice. How much better now that a championship caliber AHL team now resides fairly close to Austin. And how much better even that tomorrow an NHL team will be passing through Austin! Or, well, two NHL teams. Kind of.
Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky will start on the top line this afternoon.
Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin will start on the top line this afternoon.
Isn't this going to be fun?
That question was rhetorical. The answer is yes. It's a chance to see all of the Dallas Stars - yes, all of them, provided Brenden Dillon doesn't get stuck in customs on his way down here - and all of the Texas Stars, on the ice, at the same time. Sorry. *David dials down the excitement*
With a practice at Cedar Park Center yesterday morning and today's scrimmage, the weekend has been a bit of a mini-roadtrip for the Stars. Team bonding and all that, yeah? Says Shawn Horcoff:
"Once you get through camp and you get down to what the team is going to be like, it is always nice to get away for a couple days and spend some time together. There's obviously a couple new guys. The start of the new year is always exciting, but when you get away, have a couple of dinners and have a few laughs, it is always good." [Stars Inside Edge]
Getting away in this case meaning a short drive down the freeway. And that short drive is one of the keys to the Stars' success. It's also a key to Jim Nill's arrival. Who knew that the proximity of an AHL club would be one of the deciding factors in Nill's decision to come to Dallas? On a side note, Detroit's affiliate Grand Rapids won the Calder Cup in 2013, and the Texas Stars won it in 2014. Coincidence? I think not.
Jim Nill's mustache does good work.
* * *
We're still waiting to hear whether Rich Peverley will be able to return to the ice this season. Meanwhile, following his and Jiri Fischer's incidents, the NHL is increasing its medical staffing at every game. [Yahoo Sports]
You should read this, but be warned. It's not a pretty read. Suffice to say, Anders Lindback, we need you. [Sports Day DFW]
While most NHL teams have spent this week cutting players from training camp rosters, the Chicago Blackhawks decided to add a player. Although here I use the term 'player' loosely. Daniel Carcillo, for some unknown reason, has been added to the Hawks roster, while a host of prospects are on their way back to the AHL club. Who knows. Maybe they feel they need him in the lineup to take on Antoine Roussel on opening night? [Second City Hockey]
Ryan Getzlaf didn't love Teemu Selanne's comments in his recent book. I just love the drama. [Jim Rome]
Fine. I'll admit it. I've got a bit of a crush on the Florida Panthers this season. It's mainly because of Roberto Luongo's Twitter account, but also the presence of Jussi Jokinen, and maybe a little bit because of some good times had on a beach in south Florida once long ago... Here, sister site Litter Box Cats takes a look at the very young defense of the Panthers, and wonders how instrumental it will be in Florida's stunning postseason run this year. Hey! A young defense! The Stars know something about that. Maybe we should run a similar article about the Dallas blueline. Anyone? Any takers? No? Fine. *David pencils his name into the DBD Planner* [Litter Box Cats]
The best part of that last article is that it led me to this one, and I've been nerding out on #fancystats and 'hextallies' for a good while now. Ahh the internet rabbit hole... [War on Ice]
The Arizona Coyotes go all in on the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. Ok, maybe not all in, but the sending down of Max Domi, thought to be a lock earlier this summer to make the NHL squad, does point to the Coyotes taking the long view towards success... [Five for Howling]
And speaking of McDavid, place your bets on which team is winning him... by losing. And yeah, you can go ahead and thank me for that tip about the darkhorse Coyotes. [The Hockey Writers]
If you had one question to ask of every Western Conference team, what would it be? I mean, if you were a managing editor over at the league's official site. [NHL.com]
Sometimes I read articles for the comments alone. And by that I mean that I don't read the articles. This is one such. But seriously, how can you not love comments like this? "As a lifelong Leafs fan, I must point out that [making the playoffs] is a very complicated situation. One of the crucial factors is whether other teams will also be trying to make the playoffs, which would dramatically impact Toronto's chances." [Ed. note: I've just read that this progressively-minded commenter has been hired by the Leafs analytics department and will be taking over the role previously occupied by a desk lamp] [Pro Hockey Talk]
And lastly, there is a greater than zero percent chance that I will be at the intra-squad scrimmage this afternoon in Cedar Park. Hit me up on Twitter if you're going to be there!