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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Forward March

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What will the Dallas Stars do to ensure their offense continues to shine? Plus, more and better drama from the Stanley Cup finals, and the Allen Americans are the happiest guys in North Texas.

The Dallas Stars will take more like these, please.
The Dallas Stars will take more like these, please.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

When the conversation turns to what the Dallas Stars need most this off-season, it usually circles around the same two wish-list items: a big, bruising top-pair defensive defenseman, and a dependable backup goaltender who ideally can play in a 1a-1b tandem with Kari Lehtonen.

But when the discussion turns to forwards, it really gets interesting.

Mike Heika posted his latest "Five Free Agents" list on Friday, this one centering on the forward position:

And forwards keep showing up in Stars mock drafts:

(DraftUtopia dares to be different, boldly predicting that the Stars choose defender Zach Werenski.)

Given the Stars' embarrassment of riches among talented forwards at both the NHL and prospect levels, the focus on shoring up those positions may seem odd. But Derek's DBD post from last Friday shows that the organization may have a critical shortage of right wings in the near future.

In that scenario, does the Meier pick begin to look more like a foregone conclusion? Or might the Stars choose the best available center (the most responsible position) who can also play on the wing?

There will be no shortage of opinions, so let's have yours.

*****

This happened last night.

And this happened on Saturday.

Congratulations to the Allen Americans and the Manchester Monarchs for their Cup wins.

Mark Stepneski continues his five-part series on 60 top 2015 NHL draft picks: Part 3 is out now. In case you missed them, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2. [Stars Inside Edge]

On video, the 2015 Dallas Stars Draft Roundtable (#StarsDraft) debuts Thursday, June 18. In the meantime, host Josh Bogorad is rolling out some nifty Stars Draft Minutes as previews. You can see them all via the Stars app or in their homepage multimedia console. The first one is always free: Here, Bruce LeVine breaks down what a Jim Nill draft looks like.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, too: You can say hello to Mr. Art Ross himself, Jamie Benn, at The Hangar's end-of-year sale June 20. It's a great out-of-season reason to show up en masse at Victory Plaza. [Dallas Stars]

If the rumor is true that the Dallas Stars will hire Jeff Reese to coach Kari Lehtonen and the Stars' other NHL goalies so they can assign Mike Valley to organizational goalie development, it will be the latest iteration of a "double setup" that several teams have already adopted. Elliotte Friedman talks about it in his latest 30 Thoughts. [SportsNet]

Jordan Dix at The Hockey Writers sums up three good things to come out of the Dallas Stars' difficult 2014-15 season. If you said "Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg," you're half-right. [THW]

In case you have developed an allergy to excitement and haven't followed the Stanley Cup finals, this series is turning out to be quite remarkable, actually.

Antoine Vermette may have singlehandedly won the March trade deadline for the Chicago Blackhawks. [NHL]

The Bolts' Valtteri Filppula is doing pretty well himself. This is what his Game 5 goal sounded like back home in Finland:

The Hawks played well, of course, but they also benefited from a freakish trip-and-fall by Nikita Kucherov early in the first period. Kucherov's resulting shoulder injury broke up The Triplets for the rest of the game, and the 21-year-old Tampa Bay Lightning forward is now "questionable" for Game 6. [NHL]

The Blackhawks' victory in Amalie Arena gives them the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup on home ice for the first time since 1938. [NHL]

But the Lightning have already tested their mettle in elimination games during these playoffs, and their road record is nothing to sneeze at. [NHL]

Josh Cooper says that in this year's Conn Smythe Trophy race, there is Duncan Keith and then there is everyone else. [Puck Daddy]

You may remember that AHL Commissioner Dave Andrews has confirmed that the league's California teams will play as many as eight fewer games than the others — including their division mates, the Texas Stars and the San Antonio Rampage. Stephen Meserve of 100 Degree Hockey (and of DBD) puts forth a proposal to even up the competition in the Pacific Division. [100 Degree Hockey]

Speaking of the AHL, if you can't keep track of the new NHL-AHL affiliations for 2015-16, Stephen has created a scorecard. It's handy. [100 Degree Hockey]

The Detroit Red Wings may be willing to trade their 2013 20th-overall, forward Anthony Mantha, as well as their 2015 first-round pick. [SportsNet]

But would they benefit more from trading Mantha for a player with immediate impact, or hanging onto a talented prospect who just completed a difficult season? [Detroit Free Press]

Meanwhile, it sounds as if the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O'Reilly may have agreed to see other people.

First, the good news: You'll have an option to buy discounted, single-team NHL Center Ice streaming packages if a judge accepts a proposed settlement in the antitrust class-action lawsuit filed against the NHL and others in 2012. Now the bad news: Your cable provider won't have to offer them. Jen Neale unbundles the issues with this plan, as well as with a new proposal for Game Center Live. [Puck Daddy]

The Toronto Maple Leafs won't hire a new GM before the NHL draft. They'll probably do just fine, probably. [SportsNet]

Elsewhere, the Leafs' Twitter account trolled a troll while other teams' accounts watched and cheered. [BarDown]

Finally: Ronda Pearson, the angry Arizona Coyotes fan whose epic rant to the Glendale City Council went viral late last week, got to live out a dream on Saturday: legally tasing the city's mayor. Jerry Weiers is reported to be "OK" after getting the shock treatment, which was all part of a fund-raiser that scared up $10,000 for the state's first responders. [NBC 12 News]