When speaking of the longest-tenured Dallas Star, there are a couple of different things that probably come to mind.
First, there is this guy, he of the top defensive pairing that has taken a pretty sound beating this year. Of course, there's also the other guy that committed one of my favorite penalties of the last ten years. And that other guy also can do things like this every now and then.
Puck Daddy had a feature up on Mr. Daley yesterday from a more personal point of view. Josh Cooper took a look at Daley's history with the organization, and there are some really nice notes in there.
Reading it, I was sort of reminded that the Dallas defense, while far from our favorite thing this year, is staffed by guys who are trying everything they can to get the job done. We know that it's not optimally designed, but we've known that for six months now. Seeing Daley rack up power play goals this year fresh off the heels of some beautiful playoff moments just, for lack of a better term, feels good. And I want to make sure I don't miss out on that in favor of scrolling through the 2015 UFA list after every goal against this season.
A lot of players refer to the team they play for as simply "the organization" or "them." Some of this has to do with the collective bargaining wars since the early 90s, added on to what, for most players, tends to be difficult negotiations when a contract is up. Daley is not like this at all.
He calls the Stars ‘we,’ and fondly says that he and his family will stay in Dallas after he retires.
"He was drafted by Dallas, he was developed by Dallas, he has seen the good days and the tough times," Nill said. "I think he is reaping the rewards with that experience now and he has really found his niche."
This loyalty was both tested and exemplified when Daley signed his six-year $19.8 million contract extension in December of 2010. The team was then controlled by lenders to bankrupt owner Tom Hicks and had to get special permission from the NHL to sign Daley.
He could have easily become an unrestricted free agent that summer and cashed in. But instead he was pitched on the Stars future by then-general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. Though the latter is gone, Daley bought in, and is now reaping the rewards with Gaglardi as owner and Nill running the team. [Puck Daddy]
Check out the whole piece. There's some really good stuff in there--stay for the ending about Daley's reaction to clinching a playoff berth last year.
My crazy thought on our defense: Daley could be a fantastic part of a defense corps--but the problem with the Stars' defense has never (for the last few years) been with one person on the team. It's been much more about the lack of that one elite guy, a Ryan Suter who can soak up minutes and media attention, allowing the other guys to slide down the pairings and excel at their jobs. In place of mystery elite defender, we have seen the ugly green spotlight of expectations fall on one inadequate top guy after another as we grill them about why, why, why they can't be better, why they have those mental lapses, why they aren't bigger, stronger, or smarter in their own zone.
Maybe next summer it will all get fixed. For now, I'll just keep rooting for Trevor Daley. He deserves to have some fun after all these years. Also, I bet he gets all incredulous when he sees right-shooting defensemen. Like, "What the, did you have to carve that stick yourself? If only I could teach my defense partner to shoot from the wrong side like that, ha ha! Wow, we could be so good. So...so good, man. Okay, later."
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Hey, go vote today! Here is my voting advice for you: "We should all just eat butter."
Ralph Strangis has a good piece of writing about where the Stars are, where they are not, and what they need to do in the near future. Here's something to keep in mind, though: "Teams that pick up points in 8 of 11 games when they’re this out of synch… look out." [ScoreBoardTX]
Josh Bogorad has his latest On the Radar piece up, and he's spouting off intelligently about the loser point, breaking up The Line, and who's coming to save the team. [Stars]
Here's a good lede: "Through 10 games, the Dallas Stars have seen some positive results tempered with some agonizing problems." Michael Hatch looks at the Good and the Bad with the Stars so far. [Along the Boards]
The good old Dallas Morning News suspects that the Pitbull line will have to step up in neutering Bailey's boys tonight. [DMN]
Mark Stepneski also previews the game tonight against a team that has more fans than they did before they won a couple of Stanley Cup titles. Interesting how that helps. Should try it one of these days. Also, Dustin Brown turns 30 tomorrow. Take a di- er, bow, Dustin. [Stars]
Should Gabriel Landeskog be suspended for this elbow-to-head hit on a team's alternate captain? Before you answer, let me just lay out the context, supporting evidence, extenuating circumstances, precedent for ruling on such matters, and.........oh, look, It was on Corey Perry.............................................maybe a $10 fine? [THN]
The Oilers also lost Andrew Ference for three games, but it's kind of all his fault this time. One of those super-unnecessary checks to the head on Zack Kassian the other night. [NHL.com]
I loved this ingenious move from the goalie on a 2-0 breakaway. "Let's just cut that advantage in half, shall we?" If anyone does this again, we probably need a rule change, though. [THN]
And finally, a player the Stars know well. Vladimir Tarasenko went totally bonkers on the NYR defense last night and scored a really, really pretty goal as St. Louis beat the Rangers in the shootout. I'm surprise Darren Pang didn't Holy Jumpin' himself straight out of the booth. Seriously, check this out: