As we make our way through the doldrums of the offseason and head closer to preseason (Sept. 22, y'all), Mike Heika has kicked off a player profile series to help us make it through. First up is Alex Goligoski and his role on the blue line.
But the NHL started publishing shot differential stats last year, and Goligoski was one of the best players on the Stars. At plus-205, he trailed only Jason Demers and Jamie Benn, and he showed that he is a player that makes a positive impact on his team. That said, he still will be a player of great discussion this season.
Goligoski just turned 30 and is the highest-paid defenseman on the Stars with a cap hit of $4.6 million. As mentioned previously, he has led the team in time on ice since 2011 (23:48 last season), so his pay level is actually quite fair by NHL standards. In fact, if Goligoski reaches the UFA market next summer, he could see a nice raise.
It's not necessarily his ability to play big minutes or skill on the power play that make him so valuable, Heika says—it's his ability to remain calm.
All of that could make for a challenging season for Goligoski, but one of the biggest assets that the veteran defenseman possesses is his calm. He battled through the trade that brought him to Dallas (in exchange for James Neal and Matt Niskanen), a trade that caused many to criticize former GM Joe Nieuwendyk. He battled through those who questioned his ability to defend in his own zone. He found a way to be the top minute guy under three different coaching staffs.
Heika also discusses how the arrival of Johnny Oduya and the emergence of John Klingberg are likely to affect Goligoski in 2015-16. To read that and more, click the link. [DMN]
All right, before we do anything else, take a look at how pretty this is:
Now that's just downright beautiful if you ask us... pic.twitter.com/EQpjDD6eq6— Texas Stars Hockey (@TexasStars) August 27, 2015
On the subject of the Texas Stars… The AHL released its 2015-16 schedule, which means you can start planning your trip to Cedar Park. The Stars kick off the year at home on Oct. 10 against the San Antonio Rampage. (Here's the PDF calendar link.) [Texas Stars Hockey]
The Victory Green Texas flag shirts over at BreakingT are now restocked. Buy one! I wore mine yesterday, and it was awesome. [BreakingT]
Already have plans for this Saturday at 6pm? That's cool. Now change them.
The Stars, Mavericks, and American Airlines Center signed a five-year naming rights deal with Lexus. [Stars]
The Score's Justin Bourne has the Stars winning the Central Division, in large part because:
They'll have the best line in hockey next year with Tyler Seguin-Jamie Benn-Valeri Nichushkin (only Perron-Crosby-Kessel is close, and I still think I prefer the Dallas trio).
Check out the rest of the mock standings right this way. [The Score]
John Klingberg got some love in Yahoo Sports' ranking of the best defensemen for fantasy hockey. [Puck Daddy]
After being arrested for driving under the influence and child endangerment, Darryl Sydor voluntarily entered the NHL/NHL Players' Association Substance Abuse/Behavioral Health Program. [Star Tribune]
If you have a spare six grand lying around, you can go hang out with Mike Eruzione and co. at the Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp. [Bloomberg]
If, however, you don't have that kind of money, you can just watch this video.
Head to Grantland to brush up on five NHL rules that you should know. [Grantland]
Defenseman Cody Franson could be on the move to Buffalo.
This NFL rookie says his tackling ability is all thanks to hockey. [Puck Daddy]
From the Hall of Fame to Lake Placid, New York, there are a few places that are sacred to fans. How many of these Seven Wonders of the Hockey World have you been to? [SI]
Dan Rosen has the answers to
all six of your burning questions. [NHL]
Connor McDavid continues to be unfairly good at hockey.
And finally, Wednesday was #NationalDogDay, which meant everyone—even athletes—shamelessly bragged about their pups. Former Star Kevin Connauton joined the fun, and there are more pics over at Sportsnet that you should look at immediately. [Sportsnet]