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Dallas Stars Daily Links: American Airlines Center Jumbotron Building New Rivalries

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Jason Walsh & Friends are doing their part to drum up some tasteful back-and-forth after the Stars' arrival in the Central Division. Elsewhere, Loui Eriksson searches for his old self, James Neal is the first public recipient of a diving fine, and Ralph Strangis talks about cooking shows

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Well, that'll put a nice little weight on that ballooning GAA, eh?

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Jason Walsh is a familiar name to most Stars fans.  He is the Stars' assistant VP who oversees the broadcast as well as many other facets of the in-game presentation.  You'll usually hear Ralph mention Walsh's name at the end of a broadcast when he's giving the credits.

Walsh is one of a few people behind the tastefully acerbic voice of the Stars' jokes over the last little while about things like Justin Bieber's arrest, life in Winnipeg, and Tony Romo.  While some of the jabs have gotten a little bit of a backlash from their targets--Winnipeg, mostly--the humorous injections into the game experience are far from "cheap," says Walsh.  In fact, there is a pretty defined purpose behind the scoreboard bits (via Puck Daddy):

We have a pretty good group of people who do our show. They’re all pretty funny individuals to be honest. And we decided about two years ago, as we realized we were probably going to be moving into a new division, that we need to create some rivalries. So that got us thinking that we are basically going to engage those fan bases, but do it in a tasteful way. So… tasteful is something that can be taken differently depending on what side you’re on. People in Winnipeg may not have appreciated our comments. However, we felt we didn’t take advantage of any individual player on the team, or the franchise itself because that would not be in good taste. But we’ll take pot shots at Winnipeg, Toronto or Colorado, and you guys can take pot shots at us. That’s great. We’re just needling each other. At the end of the day you have people who go to these games and they pay you to watch a hockey game. They’re also paying to be entertained  [Puck Daddy]

Also noted in that article is the fact that Walsh defers most of the credit for Monty Python jokes and the overall revamping of the arena presentation to one Jason Danby, a Stars employee of eight years. While there is certainly a team behind the whole thing, the more pointedly hilarious tone of the Stars on Twitter and in the AAC undoubtedly arises from the careful and (usually) tasteful execution of everone's favorite marketing word: branding.

If the Stars' brand continues to give us things like this, then that's just fine by me.  As we all know, anything Toronto does makes the hockey world talk; if Walsh, Danby and their coworkers can goad the Leafs into some kind of senseless flip-out, the Stars will surely be challenged to defend their honor at the next Winter Classic in Ontario or wherever the NHL moves it after Toronto angrily calls Gary Bettman's office.

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Thursday links bring sadness: Not only is Serial ending (no spoilers!), but Victor E. Green plushies are for sale at the Hangar but not online.

Relive the shutout from last night.  It really happened, I promise.  [Stars]

Ralph Strangis reminds us that, just like cooking delicious food on television, building a great team can take a while.  In other words, Detroit pummeled Dallas the other night because Jim Nill did too good of a job during his time there.  Thanks a lot, Jim Nill.  [According to Ralph]

Loui, Loui, we hope you can make the Seguin trade look at least a tiny bit less lopsided.  (And your OT goal last night certainly helps!)  [Puck Daddy]

Vernon Fiddler reminds us that yes, Canada is crazy about hockey, because parents will drive 10 hours to see a game all the time.  [DMN]

Mike Heika's chat yesterday included a note that James Patrick's domestic assault charges have possibly been dropped (unconfirmed).  [DMN]

Could Texas head coach Derek Laxdal be on the radar for an NHL coaching gig in the near future?  [THN]

Big news today: the cuddly and lovable James Neal has been fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment.  He is the first NHL player to be publicly shamed this way; he was apparently warned earlier this season for a prior incident.  [NHL]

Bob Hartley has been given a contract extension in Calgary.  Smart of him to get that done before regression kills them any further.  [SportsNet]

Hockey by Design also hates the Kings' Stadium Series jerseys.  [HBD]

Speaking of Loui, Eriksson is hoping to see his production jump back up this year as he battles back from a John Scott-derailed 2014.  If he can get some ice time with Boston's top line, he just might be able to find himself again.  [Boston Globe]

Zemgus Girgensons is still Latviawesome, as he has nearly twice as many votes (over 1 million now) as the next all-star candidate.  Basically, it's the token Latvian and Chicago.  [NHL]

There is a strong belief out there that the first pro sports franchise to set up shop in Vegas will strike gold.  That sport will likely be the NHL, says Katie Baker.  [Grantland]

The frequency of a 20-round shootout is something like once per decade or more.  So, I hope you watched those highlights yesterday.  [Stats by Lopez]

Finally, no video today because SportsNet just updated their DRAFT RANKINGS!  By "updated," I guess they mean, "we didn't change anything big at all, really."  Still, go ahead and pore over these players and pick your most favoritest one in the whole wide world. [SportsNet]