The Dallas Stars' commitment to restocking its long-suffering blueline is starting to take shape: Of the 19 defensemen who attended the 2015 training camp in Cedar Park, team management believes that at least 11 are NHL-ready either now or by next year, reports Josh Bogorad.
Johnny Oduya and Alex Goligoski are expected to help steer the Stars' young defensive corps, and they both believe in leading by example:
"I think consistency is something that's important in the NHL: come to work every day, have a good time, and you know, try to get better, try to learn every day. That's something that I try to do all the time, and I think that's something that's important if you're a young D-man, too." – Johnny Oduya
"If they've got questions, I'll answer 'em and help out where I can, but it's pretty easy. It's a good group of defensemen. Everyone's smart, everyone wants to learn, and it makes it easy for everyone." Alex Goligoski
John Klingberg is ready to add to his own legend, joining the Stanley Cup winners at the top of the depth chart:
"I think I still have to learn a little more defense. I think that's one point in the game I think I can be better. I think it's been a good summer, just a little bit too long."
And needless to say, a certain agony of choice is a good problem for Coach Lindy Ruff to have:
"I think they know the numbers, you know, from [Patrik] Nemeth, [Jamie] Oleksiak, [Jyrki] Jokipakka – you get that whole group, and you can throw [Julius] Honka's name in there now, and a couple of other young guys. They know what the numbers are, and they've got a situation where they can impress in the intrasquad games. A lot of them are going to get chances in the exhibition games. ...Some of it is how you handle that pressure, how you handle that opportunity, and if you're ready for it, you'll handle it well."
It's all on video at the Dallas Stars site, but you can watch it here.
Today's the day: The Stars open the 2015-16 preseason against the Florida Panthers at 6:30 p.m. Central time in BB&T Arena. If a simulcast will be available, the @DallasStars Twitter feed will probably be the first place you hear about it. Enjoy.
Sportsnet took advantage of NHL Media Day to shoot its newest promo, in which Tyler Seguin works off a little excess hypercompetitiveness at Elliotte Friedman's expense.
And if you didn't get to drop in on Cedar Park for any of training camp, you can still enjoy this Texas Stars video of highlights from Friday's party at The Domain, featuring Jamie Benn, John Klingberg and more.
John Gibson may not get past Frederik Andersen or Anton Khudobin to start the season in the NHL, but the 22-year-old goalie just got paid like a major leaguer. The Anaheim Ducks locked down their depth at net with a $6.9 million extension for Gibby yesterday. [FOXSports]
USA Hockey has tapped John Tortorella to coach the national team in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Tortorella is the winningest American coach in NHL history, but is coming off two consecutive firings – most recently by the Vancouver Canucks, where his 2013-14 tenure might charitably be called a fiasco. Mike Halford weighs the pros and cons of the hiring. [NBC Sports]
Sean McIndoe gives Gary Bettman a break and tanking talk the brush-off in his New Season's Resolutions. Personally, I'm rooting for the one where we replace the World Cup national anthems with Jon Bon Jovi tunes.
Here's the short version: Hockey Highlander (and former Star) Jaromir Jagr sleeps with pretty young model. Model commemorates occasion with selfie (oh, millennials). Third party tries to blackmail (single) Jagr with (presumably) scandalous photo. Jagr doesn't care who sees it and says so. Picture goes everywhere. #JagrSelfie is born. Safe for work, except for the comments. [Puck Daddy]
One of the greatest sports-related episodes of any TV series, ever, was written by a lifelong hockey fan. Jon Rosen talks with Mike Scully – a former writer, producer and showrunner for The Simpsons – in a 21st-anniversary look back at "Lisa on Ice." [L.A. Kings Insider]
Icethetics has rendered its verdict on the new Texas Stars jerseys, and that verdict is "absolutely gorgeous." [Icethetics]
In other jersey news, the Colorado Avalanche have unveiled their 2016 Stadium Series sweaters, and Mile High Hockey is looking for Yays or Yucks from its readers.
Texas Stars center Travis Morin has a new letter on his sweater, but his approach to the game – leading by doing – will stay the same. [100 Degree Hockey]
Sean Shapiro of Wrong Side of the Red Line sat down with forward Curtis McKenzie for the first episode of his new podcast. Muckbro talks about the strong connections between the Dallas and Cedar Park teams, his love for cooking, and how he learned about the Patrick Sharp trade. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Does the "grind line" as we've known it even exist any more? Fights are down, playing time is up, and the Associated Press says NHL fourth-liners have more skill now than ever before. [AP/Sportsnet]
RIP... Ewen: 49 Probert: 45 Boogaard: 28 Rypien: 27 Kordic: 27 Belak: 35 Montador: 35 There is something very wrong here, NHL.— randy turner (@randyturner15) September 20, 2015