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Dallas Stars Daily Links: What Have We Learned from the Preseason?

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Where will Hemsky play, and will it really matter all that much? Join us for discussing, if not definitively answering, this question and more on this week's edition of: anticlimactic descriptions of links posts! Real things are also within, like: the NHL/KHL face off over the 2016 world cup, and Evander Kane doesn't not hate Winnipeg.

Ales "Shootout Kaiser" Hemsky
Ales "Shootout Kaiser" Hemsky
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Bogorad has his latest On the Radar piece up for the Stars' website in which he runs down three items that have stuck out through preseason play thus far. It's worth noting that the recently-promoted JB has been pretty on point with a lot of his writings, so it's a good idea to pay attention to his scribblings.

First, he talks about Ales Hemsky.  Even TSN and NHL.com can't agree on which line Ruff will play Hemsky, but thus far, it seems like Ruff is leaning towards a Dynamic Duos motif rather than the Ultimate Triple Threat Combo.  Bogorad's thoughts:

...many people (including me) thought Dallas would start with Hemsky on the right wing, alongside Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. The lack of a consistent RW presence on the #1 line last year made for nightly decision-making – both before the game, as well as during. Hemsky’s acquisition theoretically could have solved that issue, but that’s not how the Stars have played it thus far.

Indeed, it seems Ruff is thus far keeping the Hemskezza monster in its own little second line quadrant (and I have to think Nill is on board with whatever plan he's using, given all the talk about their symmetry).  There has been in the last year or so a good amount of talk espousing the necessity of compiling lines based on dominant pairs as opposed to sets of three, and it seems that Ruff is leaning towards a vehement one-two punch of two-player dominance. And with weapons like Nichuskin, Ritchie, McKenzie, Cole (really), Peverley (fingers crossed) and Sceviour able to be rotated throughout those two spots, I can certainly understand the comfort of having two-thirds of a line nailed down, with only the tertiary ingredient to be determined on any given night.  With the majority of the chemistry having been established, you have everything to gain through plugging a new player in that other wing and very little to lose.

Bogorad also talks about Julius Honka in his piece, but that's better left to your own observation.  He's at an "already-but-not-yet" stage that is exciting, tantalizing and maddening all at once, although the Dallas defense is more to blame for that than anything else.  It's thrilling to have so many defensive prospects that we're desperate to see getting 20 minutes a night in the NHL already, then to toss a blue-chip blueliner like Honka into the mix just because Jim Nill was bored on draft day.  What a turnaround from the days of Phillip Larsen, eh?

Finally, Bogorad talks about the goalies:

Ruff has said that he wants to get Kari ample time in preseason to prepare him for the upcoming year. That won’t leave much time for Lindback and Rynnas, and it magnifies the importance of the looks they do get. There are still opportunities to win (or lose) the job, but they will be in short supply from here on out.

We know what Lindback and Rynnas both did in their thirty minutes thus far, and it's really nothing to be ashamed of.  Coming out of camp, the campaign buttons were something like "Rynnas will Win us (a cup, if Kari retires tomorrow)," but after Wednesday's game, it's been more like "Anders Lindback is the last guy we'd send back" or something.  I made those both up, and they are terrible (Reminder: You are not paying to read this).

The definitive word on the netminders will come after the final stretch of preseason games (a tightly-packed set of four), and before you know it, we'll all be wondering how we ever could have thought that Lindback wouldn't be recording six shutouts in a row in November.

In any case, give Bogorad's column a read.  He works for the Stars, so, probably, he knows stuff about them.  Also, he's a really decent guy, if accounts are to be believed.

The Preseason: Get ready to have all your questions gradually answered and replaced by new ones!

* * * * *

Attention attention everybody this is a very important announcement: Jamie Benn needs your help to continue advancing in the 10 Most Eligible Men in Dallas contest for D Magazine. Thank you, this concludes the very important announcement [D Magazine]

Ralph Strangis and the Dallas Stars won two separate "Best of" awards from Dallas Observer, which is pretty cool. Links to DallasObserver.com are located as follows:  [Ralph Strangis, Best Play-by-Play] and [Dallas Stars, Best Actual Sports Team]

DBD's own Derek Neumeier looked at the many, many wonderful hockey players that the Dallas Stars employ and wrote this article about it.  He even stooped to our level by spelling "center" the American way, so you know it's a good read.  Nice work, Derek.  [The Hockey Writers]

Mike Heika suggests that you watch Friday's game if 1) it is possible to be watched, and 2) you want to see players playing who weren't playing before because they were hurt.  Ruff thinks the defense will "sort itself out," as well.  [DMN]

Puck Daddy's Dobber Hockey contributor suggests that Hemsky and Spezza may not break 120 points combined this year.  A reminder that healthy hockey players are so, so valuable, because I think that if they both play 75 games, they'll hit 130.  But even if they don't, that wouldn't necessarily mean Absolute Failure.  [Puck Daddy]

Having conquered the AHL, Travis Morin is hoping to start feasting upon the NHL, but not so quickly that he defeats everyone and starts crying like that big baby, Alexander the Great.  It would be cool if he got at least Dustin Jeffrey ice time this year.  Goodness knows he's earned it as much as a veteran AHL player can.  [DMN]

RFA defenseman Ryan Ellis has agreed to re-sign with Nashville for a rumored 5 years with AAV of $2.5 million.  Brenden Dillon is paying attention.  [Predators]

Interesting interview with Stan Bowman here, as he mentions the need for Teravainen to still fill out physically before unleashing his ridiculous skills on the league (see: Honka, Julius).  He also talked about wanting a good "enforcer" who was also a sound player, which is just, yeah, hopefully we manage to get Seguin's line out against whatever hack has that role during the game in Dallas next month.  [Third Man In]

Evander Kane had a few things to say about how he pays restaurant bills, skates hard, and does not regret the money phone bit one single...bit.  Personality!  Also, he hates playing in Winnipeg, in case you haven't picked up on that yet.  Hey, here's an idea: Dallas should trade for him!  Sure, it'd be an intradivisional trade, but is Winnipeg really in the same division as any team in the Western Conference?  One suspects not.    [SportsNet]

Nathan Horton isn't skating yet with Columbus, and Kekalainen has revealed that he has a degenerative back condition.  That just stinks.  [Bluejackets Xtra]

Jordan Staal's final injury timeline is 3-4 months, as his broken leg will require surgery.  I would like to give you all some credit for not making a "can't catch a break" joke so far.  I frankly feel terrible for Staal and don't like joking about injuries, most of all severe ones.  Best wishes for a Kobe-like recovery timeline, Jordan.  [News & Observer]

Will the 2016 World Cup of Hockeyness strain the relationship between the KHL and NHL to a breaking point?  (And I don't mean like straining spaghetti.  Why would you even think that!) [Puck Daddy]

Finally, a look back at the 2nd-best Hagman goal ever: