John Klingberg has joined the dawn patrol. He's back in Frisco with several other Dallas Stars who have returned from vacation early to start practicing for the upcoming season.
He tells Mark Stepneski that he's "excited for this year," and there's plenty to be excited about. First of all, there's the new seven-year deal that will make him a millionaire (and possibly end up as one of the NHL's best values).
"I was a little bit surprised. I thought maybe a two-year or three-year deal, somewhere there," Klingberg said. "I talked to my agent, and he said Jim wanted to make a long-term deal, and I was really surprised. I was happy because I knew they were happy with how I played and wanted to sign me for a long time. It's exciting when you know they trust you, and they think you can be a good player."
There's also his 2014-15 experience to reflect and build on, including 40 points in 65 games and a spot on the NHL's All-Rookie Team.
"I learned a lot, it was a lot of good experience last year," Klingberg said. "With the good start I had and then the little bounce back and then to come back again, I think I played pretty good the whole year. I can't put a finger on it, but I learned a lot the last year. It was a good year, and I am excited to start up again this year."
And now he's returning to a team that has added his countryman Johnny Oduya on the blueline.
"With Oduya coming in here that is the kind of D we really need and want. That's going to be exciting. I don't know Oduya personally, but I heard he is a good mentor for young guys. For me and Nemo (Patrik Nemeth), it's going to be exciting to have him as a veteran Swede. Those two players won the Cup, so it is going to be good for us."
There's much more under the link. Go ahead, look. [Stars Inside Edge]
Valeri Nichushkin has made Allan Muir's list of six NHL players who need big bounceback seasons in 2015-16. [Sports Illustrated]
The Cody Eakin deal is part of a league-wide trend toward larger investment in defensive forwards, says Carolyn Wilke. Take a look at her "salary bands" that show how players or teams have performed relative to others with similar contracts. [Today's Slapshot]
Check out the latest from @Classlicity on Cody Eakin of the #Stars and the rise of the defensive forward. #TSSHockey http://t.co/XUMKvtOyDp— Today's Slapshot (@TodaysSlapshot) September 2, 2015
Meanwhile, Tyler "Trash Boat" Seguin and Eakin's new contract have made it into a new Puck Daddy Power Rankings piece. It's a Ryan Lambert post, so good luck trying to figure it out, but it does contain this deathless quote. [Puck Daddy]
[Seguin]'s going to win scoring titles in this league and he will be up there accepting his Hart trophy one day, and all I will think about will be how he will take that trophy home and place it carefully atop a stack of TV Guides from 1993.
"No man is an island, not even Jim Nill." Matt Pryor of The Hockey Writers examines the years-long chains of cause and effect that made some of Jedi Jim's blockbuster Dallas trades possible. [THW]
Bleacher Report has published a list of Every NHL Team's Worst Contract for the 2015-16 Season, and you may or may not have words for them when you see who they singled out for Dallas. (This link goes directly to the Stars-centric part, so you don't have to.) [Bleacher Report]
The San Jose Sharks' offseason acquisition of defender Paul Martin has demoted former Star Brenden Dillon to their third pair. Drew Weber of The Hockey Writers explains why this may be a good thing for the West Texas Pump Jack. [THW]
Elsewhere, a British Columbia appeals court judge has denied a request to increase Stars owner Tom Gaglardi's fine for polluting a lake during renovations on his Kamloops vacation property. [Yahoo Sports]
Nikolaj Ehlers scored about two points per game for the Halifax Mooseheads last season. Now the biggest question for the 19-year-old left wing seems to be whether he'll be on the Winnipeg Jets' opening-night roster.
Nikolaj Ehlers is aiming for the NHL, but the Winnipeg Jets also have a fall-back plan says @THNRyanKennedy - http://t.co/VGFlYomUeo— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) September 3, 2015
New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador retired on Wednesday, but you'll remember the story of his last five seasons for a long time. He tells The Players' Tribune about how a damaged vestibular system nearly destroyed his career and his family, and how cutting-edge therapy (and Lou Lamoriello) helped him save both.
.@NHLDevils captain @BryceSalvador is retiring today. He went through hell to get here: http://t.co/lDZXijqVK5 pic.twitter.com/CJpidZElTq— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) September 2, 2015
Jakub Voracek's sister Petra has multiple sclerosis. The Philadelphia Flyers forward has established a foundation to help fight the disease, and he plans to donate $1,000 for every point he racks up this season. [Flyers Nation]
@FlyersNation @jachobe with his sister Petra. Jake established foundation for people with multiple sclerosis #classy pic.twitter.com/up31tJryry— Flyers CZ (@FlyersCZ) September 2, 2015
This fall, Boston Pride defender Marissa Gedman will teach honors biology at her former high school and play the first season in history of North American women's paid professional hockey in the arena where she became a star with Harvard.
Marissa Gedman of @TheBostonPride writes on her continued career in our Double Overtime blog http://t.co/vHtayLTgFp pic.twitter.com/2hxdYaw9UT— NWHL (@NWHL_) September 3, 2015
Remember the other guy the Toronto Maple Leafs packaged up in Phil Kessel Trade 2015? Right wing Tyler Biggs has joined the Pittsburgh Penguins organization saddled with the dreaded "first-round bust" label. Here's how he plans to shake it off. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Did former Chicago Blackhawks (now New York Rangers) goalie Antti Raanta really "root against" the Hawks during the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs?
OMGWHOCARES This is truly a serious question for all of us. Well, not really, but it was all over the Internets yesterday, so at least now you can discuss it intelligently, on the Internets. [SportsNet]
No secret that Antti Raanta wasn't Q's favorite, and Q was enamored with Darling. Pointed words from Raanta here: http://t.co/UgyrL9vkJh— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) September 2, 2015
Mark Lazerus also posted a thought-provoking piece on why Patrick Kane may be down to his last cigarette with the Blackhawks, no matter what happens (or doesn't) regarding the most recent accusations against him.
Trading Kane might be the only move for #Blackhawks. And they’d have some takers. My column: http://t.co/W5vmmxRgCG pic.twitter.com/vshx0VlbJO— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) September 1, 2015
Meanwhile, in L.A., Kings defender Slava Voynov has finished his term in Seal Beach Police Detention Center and has been taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, pending a hearing by an immigration judge. Voynov pled nolo contendere in the deal that reduced his domestic violence charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, but ICE considers a no-contest plea the same as a guilty plea – which leaves him "not in great shape in immigration court," says an expert. [The Los Angeles Times]
The New York Islanders will wear a black third jersey with a modified logo for their inaugural season in Brooklyn. Icethetics has a sneak peek of the new look, as well as a possible design for a commemorative patch. [Icethetics]
DBD contributor Stephen Meserve has given AHL schedule diversity a long, penetrating look, and you may be interested in what he's found.
Can you really claim 'best in the conference' if you only play 9 teams all year? http://t.co/3APkoeRxMlpic.twitter.com/zS1KNSBXnE— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) August 28, 2015
In other AHL news, Sean Shapiro's Texas Stars mailbag is back in business for 2015-16. Catch his Hot Sports Opinions on the CP squad's next captain, how Mike Valley will help Jack Campbell, a possible breakout season for Radek Faksa and who will start the year with the big team. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Finally: While we're talking about the Texas Stars, this guy is out there now.
Pretty sure the hockey face of @stjohns28 is going to haunt me in my sleep. #firstimpression#ThanksStephenpic.twitter.com/Y1FC3RdnQv— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) September 2, 2015