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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Julius Honka to the AHL?

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There are indications that the Stars are seeking to send Honka to the AHL, which wasn't thought to be an option at first glance. Elsewhere, Vancouver is out of ammo and fixing bayonets, Columbus is going to end up paying Johansen in gold Krugerrands by the time the season starts, and Dany Heatley hurt himself.

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First of all, let's calm down and agree to a couple of things that we know are true:

1.  Brenden Dillon is going to sign a contract with the Dallas Stars pretty soon.

2.  Julius Honka is not going to be in the NHL to start the season, and most likely not at all this year.  Probably.

3.  Jim Nill and his team are dedicated to properly developing players in a way that will lead to lasting success for them and the team.

4.  But Julius Honka is kind of awesome.

5.  Yes, but that's not how this list works.

6.  Seriously though, if Dillon doesn't sign and the Stars need--

7.  Stop it. That's ridiculous, and it won't happen, and they are two very different defensemen anyway.

8.  Yeah, right and left-handed.

9.  You got me there.

Anyway, we know that the Stars need Brenden Dillon (a healthy one, which we haven't seen for a good long while).  And while those negotiations continue to percolate, the Stars have another defensemen about whom talk is stirring up again.

For the latest installment in the Where in the World Will Julius Honka Play This Year? game, Mark Stepenski starts us off with this little tidbit:

Juniors may not be an option due to rules involving the IIHF which could restrict Honka going to Swift of the WHL, where he played last season. That would leave Texas and Europe as the possibilities and Texas appears to the be leading candidate

That's certainly a departure from Nill's comments after the draft:

He's possibly going to play next year in the men's league over in Finland. We are going to discuss that with him over the next couple days. That would be great for his development. He is going to play against men. He is going to realize how important it is to get stronger. It's a great league. It is really going to help his development. It will make him closer to making the American League in a couple of years and we'll see how he develops.

And all indications are that Honka is really pushing to play in the AHL this year for a couple of reasons, not least of all being that it would shorten his development timeline considerably, giving him an extended opportunity to prove his prowess against grown-ups rather than simply dashing all about the ice betwixt bedfuddled junior players.  Training camp has shown that Honka is farther along than most people suspected, and the change in tone from making the AHL in "a couple off years" to possibly starting his Dallas tenure there speaks to his fantastic performance thus far.

As a reminder, this is all being brought about by IIHF rules preventing Honka's reassignment to Swift Current of the WHL.  Let me point you back to our own Huw Wales and his astute assessment of this situation about three weeks ago.

Was Julius Honka signed to the Broncos? Was he on loan to them from JYP? This difference could be crucial when it comes to the CHL-NHL agreement. Players who are drafted from the CHL cannot play professional in North America, except in the NHL, until the year they turn 20 or after they have played four year in the CHL.

It would appear, however, that it's possible for players on loan from European clubs to the CHL could avoid this to a degree. It is a complicated loophole and one that hasn't been explored much.

Whether Honka is on loan to the Swift Current Broncos depends upon the terms of his contract with them. Unfortunately the terms don't appear to be public. Those terms would answer many of the questions about where he is eligible to play next year.

*snip*

Why does this loophole matter? If they can successfully argue that he was on loan and abides by this loophole Julius Honka could play in Europe but, more interestingly, possibly in Cedar Park as well next season for the Texas Stars.

Given the increase in talk about the AHL being a realistic destination for Honka, it seems that the Stars may indeed be planning on contending that he was "on loan" to the Broncos (and the terms of his contract should make that contention a rather easily-resolved one).  If the Stars do succeed in bringing Honka to Cedar Park, the message is clear: they want this player ready in the near future.  Not this year, most likely, but soon.  Much sooner than most of us thought in June.

* * * * *

Oh ho ho, I smell myself a spicy li'l batch of Tuesday Links a-sizzlin' on the grill!

Lots of bits and pieces from Jim Nill in this video.  He expects Dillon to be signed soon, and the Boston negotiations did apparently help the process.  Boston:  Saving Dallas money since 2012.  [Stars]

Razor offers a multitude of reasons for optimism about the state of hockey in 2014, and yes, one of those reasons is himself.  [Stars]

The Stars/Blues game in Kansas City has created more buzz about the potential of another NHL Franchise arriving in Missouri.  [KC Star]

Bob Gainey will be officially whispering in Hitch's ear this year.  [Twitter]

Former north Star J.P. Parise is battling cancer, but Zach has vowed to play hard for his father in the meantime.  [Star Tribune]

Colorado signed some players of its own, giving Cody McLeod and Brad Stuart muli-year deals.  More importantly, Joe Sakic confirms that he refers to singular players on his team as an "Avalanche," which just begs all kinds of questions.  [Mile High Hockey]

Dany Heatley pulled a groin trying to keep up with Perry and Getzlaf, which it's hard to blame him for.  He'll sit for a week, after which he'll boot the worthier player on that line in an effort to revitalize his career.  If he can't do that on the Getzlaf line, then his career should be scheduled for embalming immediately.  [LA Times]

A guy named Derek wonders if the Canucks might have one last run left in them for this season.  It certainly couldn't be as bad as last year was, right?  Yes, I am trying to curse them.  I haven't forgotten 2007, and I never will.  [The Hockey Writers]

Mike Babcock isn't necessarily leaving Detroit after this season.  He isn't necessarily not leaving Detroit, either.  [Mlive]

Whatever unthinkable negotiation tactics Boston may have used to re-sign Smith and Krug for $1.4 million apiece, they are still likely to make a trade.  Unfortunately for 29 teams, that trade is no longer likely to involve Boychuk.  [Providence Journal]

Columbus has now lost all leverage in contract talks with Ryan Johansen, as Boone Jenner will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken hand.  (Erin can sympathize.)  [Pro Hockey Talk]

Scotty Bowman took curfew even more seriously than your 6th grade camp counselor, according to this un-sourced and totally-I-guess-real story.  The last line beginning with "imagine" just smacks of those "101 Unbelievable Stories from History" books you would see in the line at Borders.  RIP, Borders.  [Greatest Hockey Legends]

Down Goes Brown runs down the opposite of the cream of the crop, whatever that is.  Chaff?  I don't know.  Anyway, here is their season preview for the terrible teams.  [Grantland]

And finally, let's remember how good it feels to beat the Canucks.  Don't lose that feeling.  Especially when it comes to the penalty rash that Rob Schick and Brad Watson decided to hand out in the most ref-polluted Game 7 I've ever watched.