Since the news of Antti Niemi's impending arrival in Dallas broke, there's been plenty of discussion on how the 1A/1B system will work out for the Dallas Stars. Mike Heika talked to the people closest to the situation, including Kari Lehtonen, to get their take on what to expect next season.
"My year was disappointing, so I want to fix that, and I'm open to doing anything I can to do that," Lehtonen said. "We are adults and we are older in our careers, so I think we can work through anything that comes up. Goalies have a certain friendship and Antti and I are friends, and I think that helps a great deal."
Lehtonen also mentioned the fact that this year won't be the first instance where he and Niemi have shared a net. The two apparently split time during a game in Finland when they were 10 years old.
Goaltending coach Jeff Reese sounded similarly optimistic about how next year would pan out.
"I'm just coming in here, so I have to take some time and I have to get to know them," Reese said, cautioning that he doesn't want to get ahead of himself. "But I've watched both of these guys and I know that they are capable of great things."
Heika shares more of his thoughts on the decision to bring Niemi into the fold in this article, so be sure to check out his view on how 2015-16 will unfold. [DMN]
In non-goalie news, the Stars officially extended qualifying offers to both Curtis McKenzie and Jamie Oleksiak, while letting go of Scott Glennie and Ludwig Karlsson.
Reported this 10 days ago but official today: Stars make qualifying offers to Oleksiak, McKenzie. No qualifying offers for Glennie, Karlsson— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) June 29, 2015
If you missed Bruce Levine and Owen Newkirk's action-packed Stars Sunday episode, you can listen to it right this way. [Stars]
The 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame class was announced yesterday. The players are Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, Sergei Fedorov, Phil Housley, and Angela Ruggiero, while Peter Karmanos Jr. and Bill Hay will be inducted in the Builder category. [NHL]
The Los Angeles Kings have terminated Mike Richards' contract, citing a "material breach." The team avoided using a buy out, and instead will face a cap recapture penalty of $1.32 million per year for the next five years. What he actually did to breach the contract is still a matter of great mystery. [TSN]
The Montreal Canadiens, however, did officially buy out P.A. Parenteau, just a year after he was traded to the team from the Avalanche. [NHL]
The Penguins inked defenseman Ian Cole to a new three-year deal.
Pens have signed Ian Cole to a three-year, $6.3 million deal. Strikes me as a really good contract for Pens. More on this in a few min.— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_PGH) June 29, 2015
Johnny Oduya will try free agency on for size, and according to the Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus, there's "virtually no chance he's back" in Chicago. (DBD's Marcus investigated whether he would fit in with the Stars.) [Puck Daddy]
ESPN's Scott Burnside ranks the top UFAs by position, and the aforementioned Oduya made the list. [ESPN]
But those valuable free agents may not be so valuable after all. The Hockey News looks at how the FA frenzy often leads to contracts that are too long and too expensive. [THN]
The Bruins swapped a 2017 third-round pick for the Flyers' Zac Rinaldo because Boston's gonna Boston. The folks over at Broad Street Hockey penned a goodbye to the erstwhile Flyer that's definitely worth a read. [BSH]
Former Stars No. 4 Brenden Dillon will be hanging out at the Shark Tank for a while.
Brenden Dillon has agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with the San Jose Sharks, agent Jarrett Bousquet confirms— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) June 30, 2015
The Stars aren't the only team that's been sorting out its goalie situation. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, the Vancouver Canucks re-signed Jacob Markstrom to a two-year deal. [Canucks]
Now that the dust surrounding the draft has settled, Sean McIndoe revisits what was surprising—and not-so surprising—about the weekend. [Grantland]
Here's a fun one: "How Steely Dan and the NHL Revolutionized Music." [TIME]
And finally, more confirmation of what we already know: Tyler Seguin is—and always has been—good at hockey.
@tseguinofficial Tyler Seguin profiled by @thehockeynews as a 6 year old for the @whitbywildcats @dallasstars pic.twitter.com/LI01moQ7Ca— STL Blues History (@STLBlueshistory) June 28, 2015