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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Center(s) of Attention

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Are elite centers the most valuable commodity in today's NHL? Plus, more news from development camp, and a look at the free agents who might be at the end of their careers.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

For Stars fans, most of the offseason discussion has centered around the importance of goaltending and that elusive No. 1 defenseman. But are elite centers the most valuable commodity in today's NHL? That's the argument from Josh Cooper over at Puck Daddy.

From 1972-73 through 1995-96, a non-center won the Hart Trophy just three times. Since then, centers have won the Hart seven times.

Does this mean their value has waned? Not at all. In fact a center is more valuable than ever before.

They are multi-layered, multi-zone organisms. You cannot have a second-line center playing 1C minutes and expect to win a Stanley Cup.

And with that, Cooper goes on to detail what, exactly, you need this particular piece of the puzzle to do for the team.

You need a first-line center who can skate. You need a first-line center who can play well in all zones. You need a first-line center who can win over 50 percent of his face offs, or at least that's a nice bonus.

"I think it's one of those positions that are kind of hands on. You touch basically everywhere," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "You have to be in the defensive zone, you have to kind of support everywhere, you have to support the defenseman, you have to support your wingers and be the kind of the player who takes care of all that."

Along with Bergeron, Jamie Benn was also nice enough to offer his take on No. 1 centers. Which, in his case, means Tyler Seguin.

"I usually just come back to the zone, stop at the top of the circles and let (Tyler) Seguin do everything," Stars left winger Jamie Benn said. "But it's a lot of special players coming down the middle. They can pretty much do everything."

So while you may still have a few items left on your Stars' offseason wish list, at least a No. 1 center doesn't have to be one of them. [Puck Daddy]

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Dallas Stars Development Camp is still going strong over in Frisco. On tap for today is another ice session for all players from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. If you're at work and can't make it, you can still get your Stars fix tonight at tonight's Party in the Park. [Stars]

Gemel Smith and Devin Shore both made time to chat about their experiences at camp and what their goals are for the upcoming season.

Dallas' other No. 9 made a pit-stop at development camp to talk to the prospects.

Meanwhile, the one true No. 9 was hanging out in enemy territory to help with Arizona's prospects. [Coyotes]

In case you missed it yesterday, the Stars signed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to a one-year contract. [Stars]

Also in ICYMI news, Elliotte Friedman posted his last 30 Thoughts column until September. Most notable of those thoughts: the Stars being a "quiet lurker" for Johnny Oduya, which Erin explored over here. [Sportsnet]

Tyler Seguin talked with Sportsnet 590 about his ESPN Body Issue photo shoot, which apparently took nearly six hours. Say it with me: Brr. [Sportsnet]

Within the group of free agents who remain unsigned, there are a few who might have seen their final NHL game. Former Stars Brenden Morrow and Sergei Gonchar are among the players mentioned. [Sports Illustrated]

Tampa Bay officially put in a bid to host the 2018 World Juniors. [Tampa Bay Times]

You know what isn't official in Tampa Bay, though? Steven Stamkos' new contract. According to his agent, the captain and the Lightning haven't started negotiations. [NHL]

Braden Holtby and Capitals are also still working things out.

If you're having mock draft withdrawals, never fear. You can go ahead and get started on one for 2016, since the NHL Central Scouting Futures list was released. [NHL]

School's still out for the summer, but the Pacific Division teams were graded on their offseason moves so far. [The Score]

The kids are all right. Actually, they're more than all right. They're pretty darn good. Take a look at some of the best moves we've seen out of development camps so far. [CBS Sports]

The world's most beautiful hockey rink—a distinction I personally didn't know existed—recently underwent renovations. [Wired]

Bruce Arthur asks why we can't have the same kind of fun in free agency that the NBA gets to have. :( See: here, if you're not up-to-date on what happens when DeAndre Jordan prompts grown men to start an emoji battle. [Toronto Star]

And finally, a very talented person created a flipbook of the Stanley Cup Final. It's pretty neat, even if the Blackhawks still win (sorry about that).