If you're following the Dmitry Kulikov thing, his hearing is today. It will be interesting to see what he gets for a clipping penalty that, I am proud to say, I correctly identified after the first replay. "That's [pick your term] clipping!" is what I shouted to the empty house. How many of you knew it was clipping before they called it? Never mind about all the other calls I miss throughout every game; I nailed the obscure one.
In lieu of Tyler Seguin for the next three (or two) to six (or four) weeks, Jason Spezza will continue his new lead role in Step Up: Stars. (which is only slightly different from the 2006 romantic dance movie--yes, that's a real genre). The Stars wanted more center depth, and they will have it for another four years after this one thanks to the former Ottawa captain.
While Spezza hasn't been scoring at his Eastern Conference pace, it is still nice to know that the Stars have a bona fide top center who can absorb a lot of the minutes formerly handed out to Tyler Seguin. Yes, they are very different players, and yes, the Stars' hopes are hanging by a thread now that their best skater is out for a while, but this sort of situation reminds you just how important it is to build a deep team. Jim Nill is still working towards the final product, I think, but what the Stars have now is a good deal easier on the eyes than the forward corps of 2011 and 2012.
No surprise here, but I'm going to let Mike Heika take it away (although there's more good stuff in this story that you should check out yourself):
But if coach Lindy Ruff was certain of one thing, it’s that Spezza could step in and handle the first center minutes.
"Yeah, I think he’s pretty comfortable with that," Ruff said with a chuckle.
After all, Spezza was the second overall pick in the 2001 draft and averaged a point a game in 11 seasons with the Ottawa Senators. Still in the prime of his career at age 31, he tallied 687 points in 686 games while playing as a No. 1 center in the NHL.
"I’m excited about the opportunity," Spezza said. "I mean, really, this is what I do, this is the role I have had my entire career, so I look forward to getting some extra minutes and maybe playing in a few different situations." [DMN]
If Spezza (and the rest of the team, for that matter) can find a way to seize what Ruff has called the opportunity created by some tough injuries over the weekend, then we may just find out how deep this team is already.
* * * * *
To get your Monday started off with a sigh and a "chin up, laddy" mentality, here's Razor's latest Wild West Curio Emporium Postgame Vlog:
Now that Roussel is back, Travis Morin has been reassigned to Texas after his emergency callup. [Stars]
All the greatest Dallas Stars Jumbotron hits are here in one place. [Hockey Writers]
Jhonas Enroth has never been pulled for an extra attacker as early as he was Saturday night. Watch the newest Star answer questions! [Stars Video]
Would you look at that: the Stars (outdated logo and all) officially won the Jhonas Enroth trade. [Globe and Mail]
BIG TRADE ALERT: Nashville is making their run this season, as they darn well oughta, as they acquired Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli from the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club. Nashville now possesses roughly forty-six high-quality defensemen. Olli Jokinen, a first-rounder and Brendan Leipsic went to Toronto in the deal. [Toronto Star]
Jeff Petry will be traded before the deadline. It's only a matter of where at this point. [Edmonton Journal]
Alex Ovechkin reclaimed the goal-scoring lead from Rick Nash last night in Anaheim. [NHL Video]
Sidney Crosby cashed in his Get Out of Jail Free card last night in a rare penalty reversal from the on-ice officials. [CBC]
Sergei Gonchar will miss some time after suffering a stupid hit from the Wrath of David Clarkson, who racked up three major penalties in just over two minutes of ice time Saturday. [Pro Hockey Talk]
ESPN's NHL coverage hasn't been much to shake a stick at in some time, but Saturday night saw the Big One showing cricket highlights instead of a single NHL game (other than a couple of Top Ten mentions). [Awful Announcing]
Sad news about Steve Montador, who passed away yesterday morning. There is talk that concussion symptoms and depression were involved, but police have said there is no current suspicion of foul play or suicide. [NY Post]
Finally, here's a fantastic read on Mike Babcock, and what he does to maintain his reputation as a premier coach in the highest level of hockey there is. [SportsNet]