Now that Patrick Sharp, Stephen Johns and Johnny Oduya are on their way to Dallas, the Blackhawks talk has been even harder to get away from than bandwagon jerseys at American Airlines Center.
Add one more conversation starter to the pile, and this one's a doozy: Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill says we already have our Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, only younger and on much more team-friendly contracts.
Speaking on the Marek Vs. Wyshynski podcast on Wednesday, Nill said the building blocks for the Stars to become a team on the Blackhawks' level are there. The two biggest pieces of that foundation are center Tyler Seguin and winger Jamie Benn, whom Nill compared to Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane without flinching
"We're not there, but we think we're on pace with where our players are at," said Nill. "Benn and Seguin remind me of Toews and Kane when they were 22, 23, 24 years of age. And I think we're trying to get there. We're close, I think."
Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski has done the sums, and...he thinks Nill is on to something.
Nill's point is essentially correct: These are two young cornerstone players who are going to drive the bus for the Stars in the next decade. Seguin has the same offensive explosiveness as Kane - and, let's face it, the rest of the pedigree - and Benn is the stoic young captain who has Olympic and World Junior gold on his bio.
Of course, Toews and Kane are Toews and Kane because of what they've done in the postseason. And that's the real test for Nill: If he thinks he has Toews and Kane, now he needs to find his Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa.
The good news is that he already has his Patrick Sharp ...
You can read more here. [Puck Daddy]
And you can listen to the entire MvW podcast here.
UPDATE: TODAY IS THE DAY when we dare the TSN Quizmaster to scuttle a winning vote for Jamie Benn to make room for Corey Perry. Dast you revisit the Franchise Faceoff? [TSN]
Meanwhile, in The Week in Johnny Oduya, the Dallas Stars' new defender says he welcomes the chance to be a mentor to the young players. [Sports Day DFW]
If I remember correctly, Patrik Nemeth once told me he works out with Johnny Oduya in the off-season.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) July 15, 2015
And no, Oduya won't be taking Travis Moen's number, but you already knew that.
More # news for ya: Johnny Oduya will wear #47.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 16, 2015
After playing more than 700 minutes during the Chicago Blackhawks' 2015 playoff run, Duncan Keith talks about a season that was a lot more difficult than he ever let it look (and tells everyone what he really thinks of Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt). [Chicago Tribune]
Have you checked out NHL.com's new list of the 200 most valuable NHL fantasy players? Two Dallas Stars are in the top 10, and one of them is in the top five. [NHL]
The Stars are actually doing stuff besides making huge offseason deals and raising up the young'uns, you know. For instance, they just extended their ECHL affiliation with the Idaho Steelheads.
Meanwhile, now that free-agency activity has all but dried up, Sean McIndoe has chosen the 10 remaining UFAs to watch. [Grantland]
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a two-year deal worth a reported $7.75 million, just five days before the defenseman's scheduled arbitration hearing. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Texas Stars forward Brendan Ranford got his first cup of coffee with the Dallas Stars back in February, and now he wants to be the first call-up in 2015-16. [Texas Stars]
The Washington Capitals have signed right wing (and Flower Mound native) Chris Brown to a two-year, two-way deal. The 24-year-old racked up 17 goals, 11 assists and 70 penalty minutes with the AHL's Hershey Bears last season and played five games with the big squad. [Washington Capitals]
Speaking of the Capitals, remember the 5-year-old St. Louis Blues fan whose heartbreak over the T.J. Oshie trade went viral?
As it turns out, T.J. can't ignore a crying child, and the Caps have a new fan (as long as they're not playing the Blues).
Look at what Dallas Stars arena announcer Jeff K picked up on vacation. Just look at it.
The Dallas Stars Foundation has announced its 2015 Stick with Reading program to encourage local elementary school students "to meet and exceed their reading goals." There's sign-up information at the link, as well as a nice photo to remember Ryan Garbutt by. [Dallas Stars]
Meanwhile, this is what Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars Foundation did with their Thursday.
And here's the Tyler Seguin selfie view from the ESPYs red carpet. I'll just let you fill in the Nelle jokes yourself.
Finally: It's Hemsky more days until the season starts. Na zdraví!