The big news Friday was plentiful, and you probably scavenged all the thoughts, reactions and analyses you could get your grubby mitts on in the last 24 hours. Well, don't you worry, I have plenty more of that. Grubby mitts, that is. Got a whole pile back behind the firewood. They don't sell well at the Goodwill for some reason. Something that does sell well, however, are tickets to see Brenden Dillon. Even when he was backpedaling and blasting slapshots into the crowd like a beast or reviewing movies he had never watched, Dillon always kept us entertained.
Brenden Dillon was signed in 2011 after a growth spurt that came too late for the draft. His combination of size and skating ability caught the Stars' eye, and he found his way onto the NHL club less than two years later. I don't need to go over the rest, as it all seems so recent. It was recent, actually. We only had the privilege of watching him in Dallas for less than two calendar years, but the fact that he had come to look like a great long-term match for the Stars in such a short amount of time spoke volumes about both his composition as a player and the stability that we had come to associate with his name.
No more, though. Dillon will put on a #4 teal jersey in San Jose, and it will be months before we see him again. It's cruel, really. To have the privilege of rescuing a player, or at least to have the privilege of feeling like the Stars did him a favor by signing him in the first place, only to suddenly see him shipped out to shore up the team, well, it's downright chilling. The Stars were the only team Dillon had known, and as fans, you just start to kind of assume that those good young players are your players, that they won't go away for a long, long time, because they only just arrived. We know that they're employees working for organizations, and sure, we'll usually scoff at them when they demand salaries in excess of what most of us will earn over 40 years of middle-class work. But we kind of fall in love with our players at the same time, and none more so than those we grew fond of before the rest of the league took notice.
So today, let's go through three of Dillon's most memorable moments with Dallas, if only to assure ourselves that yes, our sadness isn't completely insane, because we still have a reaction to these clips. Watching Dillon meant something special more often than not, and there's no fun way to move on from that feeling except to hope that it gets drowned out (but never completely eliminated) by louder screams and stronger reactions to the team's improvement this year.
Let's go back in time and count down the memories, folks.
Moment #3 | Brenden Dillon's first NHL goal
This not only followed Roussel's first goal, but it also made up part of Dillon's Gordie Howe Hat Trick that night against, of course, the Coyotes.
Moment #2 The West Texas Pump Jack
Dillon first showed the tenacity and acrimonious tendencies he could indulge when necessary in this particularly memorable fight against Jordin Tootoo, of all people. Yes, this one felt very, very good.
Moment #1 Dillon Dangles Shorthanded
In my opinion, the most beautiful goal of his career. So far.
Best of luck, Brenden. Try to go easy on the punishing body checks next time you visit.
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Saturday has just a whole mess o' links for you; good thing I gave you the day off today.
Read some thoughts on the trade from San Jose, including this note from Sharks GM Doug Wilson: "This is a hockey deal that works very well for both teams," Wilson said Friday. "This is something we've been working on for quite a while. They were looking for a right-shot defenseman, we were looking for a big, physical left-shot defenseman that we think has got the skill set to trend up." Sounds like Nill has been looking to poach a right-handed Sharks blueliner for a little while now. [San Jose Mercury News]
The Hockey News also doesn't quite "get" the Dillon trade for the Stars, so consider that affirmation if you're still in mourning for that brand new #4 jersey you just bought last week. [THN]
The Spezza extension (which, be honest, we all knew was coming for weeks now) also drew some criticism from The Hockey News. It's an interesting piece. I don't have the temerity to argue with the legitimate concerns about Spezza's health history, but given Jim Nill's trading patterns, it's probably safe to say he decided this was the best 1B/2 center option out there for Dallas over the next few years, like it or not. I happen to like it. For now, at least. [THN]
The Texas Stars were tossed around like a teddy bear last night, losing 7-1 on Teddy Bear Toss night. Jack Campbell has not exactly base jumped off the top of AAC, parachuted to Jim Nill's office window and screamed for an NHL job yet this season. Also, Ludwig Karlsson was called up to Texas the other day. Sadly he did not score six goals. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
Gavin Cleaver is still offering his thoughts on the Stars and hockey in general. He is from across the sea, so it is an Interesting Viewpoint. [Dallas Observer]
The Kings are finally getting cap relief, and all it took was for Mr. Voynov (as the NHL calls him) to be charged with a felony. [NHL]
Benoit Pouliot broke his foot blocking a shot last night, then Cory "I never don't play" Schneider shut out the rest of the Oilers. Starting to wonder if this might not be Edmonton's year after all. [Pro Hockey Talk]
Daniel Alfredsson's career looks to be officially done, although he hasn't announced when he will announce that yet. It's all over but the tearful "thank-yous" at this point. Hey, remember the dumbest Alfredsson moment ever? [Detroit Free Press]
No matter how confused, angry or sad you have been at the Stars' rough start this season, remember what Confucius said: "at least you aren't the Leafs, man. They are just a mess right now." That is a lie, he did not say that, that I know of. [Puck Daddy]
Also, at least you aren't Sergei Bobrovsky on this shot from the neutral zone. Yeesh, yeesh, yeesh. [NHL Video]
John Buccigross and ESPN have, for your enjoyment, the Top 30 Players in the NHL this year, compiled and ranked. Guess if any Oilers are on here, then guess if Buccigross's hair is real or just some sick lettuce. [ESPN]
Elliotte Friedman offers his thoughts on Jack Johnson's financial misfortunes and many other things in his weekly 30 Thoughts. [SportsNet]
Former NHL player and referee Paul Stewart recalls his finest moment back in 1979. Three fights in one game, yeah, that would be memorable. Good stuff, this. [Hockey Buzz]
Finally, because this happened yesterday, too, Jason Spezza discussed his contract extension with NHL Live: