Goaltending coach Jeff Reese is at development camp this week. Up in Frisco, he's getting his first chance to work with netminders in the Dallas Stars organization, as well as with Mike Valley, whose new focus is on the youth movement.
Reese spent time with the media on Tuesday, talking about what's to come and what he hopes to accomplish with veterans Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi.
Obviously, when I took the job I knew Kari was here and Antti wasn't yet. Right now, we've got two veteran guys. It's going to make my job a lot easier, and it's a nice situation for me to come into, no question. You've got two No. 1 goalies that can play a lot of games and give you a chance to win every night. I am pretty excited about it.
He also offers his own hot take on Lehtonen's annus horribilus in 2014-15:
Having played the position, I understand that sometimes it is a lonely position, and you need to have somebody behind you. You need to have that support. I'll be there for a lot of support. I hear everybody talk about Kari's year and how bad he was, but he still had 34 wins. You look at a guy like Steve Mason (Flyers goaltender), who had great numbers but only had 18 wins. I look at things a little bit differently. Now I know there are areas for improvement from what I hear and even Kari admits it himself. But 34 wins is not that bad a year. I know the numbers we want to get better.
Let's be honest, this is the stuff you've been wanting to read about all summer, so I'll just leave this here. [Stars Inside Edge]
The Dallas Stars have big plans for Jason Dickinson, Radek Faksa and Devin Shore. Read Mike Heika on how these three young talents, already fan faves among prospect watchers, fit into the team's "top nine" forward scheme. [Sports Day DFW]
Dallas Stars Development Camp continues through Saturday, and because Mark Stepneski has gotten serious with Periscope, you have the opportunity to watch live. Keep an eye on Mark (and his Periscope broadcasts) @StarsInsideEdge.
Mark has also posted his daily video for Wednesday.
And he also shared more news about prospects who aren't present.
On Roope Hintz not making camp: Tweaked his back training in Finland. Stars decided to let him stay home and rest.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) July 8, 2015
As you know, Captain Jamie Benn has been putting in cameo appearances at camp this week, working on his stride in between sessions. The Stars have posted encouraging news about Jamie's ongoing recovery from double hip surgery in April.
If you can't make it to Frisco this week, you still have a chance to meet the prospects at the Dallas Stars Party in the Park tomorrow night. The festivities start at 6 p.m. at Klyde Warren Park, including live music, food trucks, Victor E. Green, games, inflatables, and "special Stars personalities." [Dallas Stars]
You'll also have the chance to meet this guy.
Last summer, Julius Honka was an 18-year-old first-round draft pick preparing to become the youngest player ever to suit up for the Texas Stars. This summer, he's an incipient first-pair player preparing to help lead the team's young blueline. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
A couple of days ago, 18-year-old Kole Sherwood became the first Columbus-born and -raised player to sign an NHL contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Craig Merz of NHL.com has written a great story about how junior programs have grown the sport in Ohio and revealed it as a potential hotbed of hockey talent. [NHL]
Speaking of NHL.com, Dan Rosen posted his weekly mailbag yesterday and wrote about the Stars in the process. Here's part of his hot sports take on the team's need for a 1D defenseman. [NHL]
The good news is Dallas does have a young defense and there is still time to figure out if players such as Patrik Nemeth or Jyrki Jokipakka can be that guy. I'm not sure they can be, but they can be solid middle pair defenders. The Stars have a lot of those guys in Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Jordie Benn and Jason Demers.
All that said, there are still defensemen on the market that can help the Stars, including Christian Ehrhoff and Johnny Oduya. I think they would work with the Stars because of their high-speed game.
Have you ever seen @hockeyasanimals on Twitter? You should meet them. Here are some examples of the thing they do.
Tyler Seguin as: a dog pic.twitter.com/EniuwSCuBY— hockey as animals (@hockeyasanimals) July 1, 2015
Jordie Benn as: a bear pic.twitter.com/byL3Pej9ge— hockey as animals (@hockeyasanimals) July 7, 2015
Jason Demers as: a prairie dog pic.twitter.com/hZaa4FKN5Z— hockey as animals (@hockeyasanimals) July 5, 2015
Jamie Benn as: a cow pic.twitter.com/KF0iXupW8K— hockey as animals (@hockeyasanimals) June 30, 2015
Vladimir Tarasenko's $60 million payday has made him the youngest player ever to cash in so comprehensively. Will he be worth it? Sean McIndoe has made a run at explaining the implications of a deal that "largely redefines the market for young players." [Grantland]