Hockey Wilderness took a good, long look at how Minnesota's top two centers stack up to their divisional peers. The idea was to see if their pivot duo was really as inferior to most of the other centers in the conference as has been mentioned a few times this summer. Poor Minnesota. They do so many things well, just never well enough for everyone to be jealous of them. Kind of like the state of Minnesota.
The result of the investigation? Well, you should check it out for yourself, but Seguin and Spezza are both in the top half (or even top five) an awful lot. Yes, I know, this is what everyone has been saying. In fact, Seguin himself acknowledged how awesome it was to get Spezza on Monday:
When I actually saw the Spezza trade, or heard about it, I didn’t believe it at first. I had to go online, social media these days, and see if it was confirmed. Get right on my Twitter and type it in: ‘Jason Spezza, is he here or not." I’m really excited, it’s made this summer even longer just cause with our new acquisitions and how good we felt we were coming together last year, you really wish it was October already.
Reading that quote makes me wonder if Tyler Seguin actually knows how Twitter works (There is a joke there somewhere, but I'm already at my Ask Jeeves looking for the answer).
Seguin's excitement is not unwarranted. I mean, just look at this:
Ever since July 1st, people have been skipping right over the good-Brad-Richards/Ribeiro comparison to talking about Modano/Nieuwendyk, who were both in town for a half-decent bit of success. There's something alluring about the idea of a really good second line, the ability to watch your top line get matched up with a checking line and not care at all. The Stars basically have two red shells, and most nights they will be playing teams with one lowly old banana peel protecting them. "Fine," the Stars will say, "you can block one of these, but you can't block the next one."
That's the best-case scenario, but we all know what can happen throughout the course of a season. Teams wear down, players have hot and cold streaks, and suddenly Erik Cole becomes the best player for a night, and you're not angry about it. That's the thing with Spezza, too. Right now, he and Seguin probably are the most fearsome combination any team in the division could ice behind one another (although Duchene/MacKinnon are probably not a bad bet to surpass their production), but that's only how things look now. That's still pretty awesome, though.
Also, the Stars might need a backup plan for when this happens:
Anyway, why don't you tell us all which of the other six teams has the best top-two centers in the Central Division? There is a poll for you to use for this purpose.
It's Wednesday, and Buffalo Wild Wings is seriously trying to get people to call them "B-dubs." These links will make you less sad than that sentence did.
It's Alex Goligoski's turn in the Mike Heika Player Profile Series. He was good last year! [DMN]
Here's a look at how the Other Benn Brother got where he is today, which is here. [In The Crease]
And Heika also answers a question from a ridiculously-named "Brandon in Dallas" about how problematic the Stars' lack of size on defense will be. [DMN]
Random: the Stars' offseason got a B+ from CSN Washington. If the Stars couldn't even get an A-minus, then I'm guessing they'll have to invent a new letter for Washington's bombastically disastrous offseason. [CSN]
I'm glad we aren't hearing stories like this about Brendon Dillon: Nashville is having trouble signing RFA defenseman Ryan Ellis. [CBS Sports]
Remember how Forsberg was in Nashville once seven years ago? How nice for them, trading a 1st, a 3rd and two players for a rental that helped them win one playoff game. [The Hockey Writers]
Is Minnesota ready to actually Do Important Things in the playoffs next year? How should I know! [NHL.com]
Winnipeg wouldn't dare set their team up for abject failure this year in order to draft a really, really good prospect. Right? [The Score]
Rob Blake's hips are going to get their number retired by the Kings in January, which will probably be really exciting for the Colorado Avalanche fans who remember his days in Denver. They'll need something to be happy about by then. [Kings Insider]
The Traverse City Prospects Tournament has been set for September 12 - 16. Should be a great time to see some of the premier young talent, as usual. [The Left Wing Lock]
I thought this was pretty interesting, even if it raises more questions than it answers: How NHL defensemen are used as they age. [Edmonton Journal]
And speaking of prospects, ESPN has their list of the top 100 NHL prospects out, starting with these 50. (Insider link) [ESPN]
CBS Sports is going to a do an all-female sports show that we hope will be way better than most of the "sports shows" out there. Sarah Kogod isn't optimistic. [SB Nation]