Mike Heika held his weekly chat on Monday, and it was filled with insight on everything from what Jim Nill might do at the trade deadline to Tyler Seguin's future as a broadcaster. Here are a few of the highlights.
Is this just a slump or a sign of what to expect the rest of the season?
Heika: It's a tough question, one I asked myself a lot during the break. I think before the season we thought they were on par with Minnesota, Nashville and Colorado, and I think we're finding out now that's who they really are. They played well for three months, but they are not yet on the level of Chicago, LA or St. Louis. So, now they have to get back to the job at hand, which is making the playoffs and trying to win the first round. I think that was the goal before the season started and I think that's who they are now.
Heika also addressed John Klingberg's recent play and how the team might be able to help him avoid targeting from other teams.
Question: In [you're] honest opinion, where do think his [Klingberg's] ceiling will be around the league?
Heika: I like John Klingberg. I like his skill, I like his mind. I like the fact he is more aware of the flaws in his game than anyone else. What I would like to see is that he recognizes players are trying to crush him, so he should get rid of the puck a little quicker. I know he wants to let the play develop, but he needs to be quicker. I also think his teammates need to send a message that Klingberg is not to be touched. The Stars used to do that for Jere Lehtinen in the day, and I know he appreciated it. Yes, you'll get some penalties and maybe even a suspension, but I think this team needs to send a message that if you hit John Klingberg, you will have a very long night. If the team supports Klingberg and if he adjusts his game, I think he can be a very effective player in the NHL.
The answers to all of your questions are waiting at the link. [SportsDayDFW]
Rich Peverley launched his website for Pevs Protects, and you should check it out. And don't forget that Pevs Protects Night is on March 12!
Elliotte Friedman's latest 30 Thoughts include musings on topic du jour John Scott and speculation on what Jim Nill might do—or not do—at the trade deadline. [Sportsnet]
If you need plans for next week, I'm here to help.
Jamie Benn is sitting pretty in Sportsnet's latest power rankings for left wingers. [Sportsnet]
A group of our favorite fancy stats enthusiasts predict which players will take home the major awards. Plus, Jim Nill gets some love for GM of the Year. [Hockey Graphs]
Jack Campbell continues to do well with the Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL.
Over at The Hockey Writers, Jordan Dix launches his campaign for Mattias Janmark to win the Calder Trophy. [THW]
Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman has been suspended 20 games for hitting linesman Don Henderson, although Wideman and the NHLPA will appeal the ruling. Wideman was also diagnosed with a concussion. [NHL]
John Scott is just the next guy in a long line of enforcers who have dazzled us with their talent. [The Hockey News]
I know no one wants to like the Blackhawks, but Corey Crawford is here to make that a little harder on you.
Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban shares his thoughts on Cam Newton, clothes, and how being a fan has changed with the dawning of social. [Sportsnet]
Twelve more former NHLers, including Grant Ledyard, who played for the Stars from 1993-97, are joining the concussions lawsuit against the NHL. [CBC]
Good news out of the University of Minnesota:
And finally, oops... I wouldn't put it past Jaromir Jagr to appear out of nowhere to lead the Panthers to a Super Bowl win, though.
Welp, this is news to us. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/m8WDqEBQGe— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) February 3, 2016