A new handful of Dallas Stars veterans are on tap to make their preseason debut's in tonight's 7 p.m. road game against the St. Louis Blues, at least according to the roster the team iced in pre-game skate in Frisco.
Mark Stepneski, as per usual, is the source of all knowledge about preseason game rosters. Here's what he saw in the morning skate as the possible forward group for tonight:
Valeri Nichushkin - Jason Spezza - Colton Sceviour
Mattias Janmark - Travis Morin - Patrick Eaves
Curtis McKenzie - Vernon Fiddler - Branden Troock
Remi Elie - Cory Kane - Matej Stransky
For that group, the presence of a couple forward pairings (Nichushkin-Spezza and McKenzie-Fiddler) are interesting if only because those resemble what we might see in the regular season. It's also good to see Patrick Eaves in the lineup a few days after they were a bit concerned about his health following a shot block with his ribs during training camp in Cedar Park.
Eaves really should stop getting in the way of his teammate's shots. It only ends in pain for him.
Mattias Janmark is also getting another chance to make an in-game impression after scoring in 3-on-3 against the Panthers on Tuesday. Remi Elie is in a second game as well.
On the blueline, Stepneski didn't have pairings available, but it should be a relatively strong group featuring Jordie Benn, Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, Stephen Johns, Mattias Backman and Ludwig Bystrom.
Like Nichushkin and Janmark among the forwards, Oleksiak is getting a second look in as many preseason games. This makes sense if only because he's presumably at the back end of the eight-man defensive logjam, and the coaching staff wants as much data on the unproven guys as possible as they try and sort out exactly how to use those eight. He's the only holdover from Tuesday.
Perhaps the bigger news is in goal, where Kari Lehtonen will be on the trip and possibly make his preseason debut. Maxime Lagace was the other goalie on the ice this morning.
Notable players who have yet to play this preseason (and therefore are probably more likely to see the ice in the team's three home games that start on Saturday) are new additions Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya and Antti Niemi. Cody Eakin and Alex Goligoski are the healthy returning veterans without a game yet, and the plan for both both Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky was to get them 1-2 games at the end of the preseason as they recover from offseason hip surgery.
Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Vladimir Tarasenko
Jordan Caron - Jaden Schwartz - Dmitrij Jaskin
Magnus Paajarvi - Pat Cannone - Ty Rattie
Yannick Veilleux - Jeremy Welsh - Eriah Hayes
Petteri Lindbohm - Alex Pietrangelo
Joel Edmundson - Kevin Shattenkirk
Andre Benoit - Colton Parayko
Godspeed with that top line and the fairly green defensive corps, Lehtonen.