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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Once and Future Stars? The DMN Looks at the 2016 Free Agent Class

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Will the Stars go shopping for a marquee UFA this offseason? Plus, the Ginger Ninja celebrates a birthday, and the playoffs are now a two-goalie job, unless they aren't.

Steven Stamkos, Loui Eriksson: Are the Dallas Stars having your fantasy about them?
Steven Stamkos, Loui Eriksson: Are the Dallas Stars having your fantasy about them?
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

All things considered, it's a good time to be the Dallas Stars. The NHL's most dangerous offense also has speed and skill on the blueline with plenty of talented prospects ready to challenge for time in the big show.

That said, free agency is a particularly exciting time to be a Stars fan, thanks to GM Jim Nill and his let's-make-a-deal wizardry. The Dallas Morning News staff examined some big-name free agents ranging from Kyle Okposo to Keith Yandle who might be on the Stars' radar this offseason.

No 2016 UFA review would be complete without at least a passing glance at this year's BMOC, center Steven Stamkos:

...If he passes on the hometown discount, he is sure to make bank on the open market - way more than the Stars would probably be willing to pay given their other needs - but just imagine...a team with Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, AND Steven Stamkos. That's fantasy hockey stuff.

But the team has a more immediate need for depth at left wing, which is where the potential for the return of Loui Eriksson becomes more than a wistful daydream:

In July 2013, the Stars traded Eriksson to the Boston Bruins in the deal that saw Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley come to Dallas. Maybe it's time for a reunion?

Check out the rest, including free-agent goaltenders, at the link. [SportsDayDFW]

*****

The DMN is still running its keep-'em-or-leave-'em polls on Dallas' upcoming free agents. Have you voted yet? [SportsDayDFW]

Mike Heika thinks Jamie Oleksiak has a future in the NHL, but he might have to go elsewhere to find it. [SportsDayDFW]

Last night, in Game 6:

Phil Kessel continued to make his case as a potential Conn Smythe candidate with plays like this in-flight deflection for the Pens' first score.

Matt Murray earned another milestone in last night's game, too.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper says the Bolts "need to be angry" about their performance and won't blame a disallowed Jonathan Drouin goal in the first period that would have given Tampa Bay the first score. [NHL on NBC]

Are two-goalie teams ahead of the curve in the playoffs? Alex Prewitt explores the NHL's "new truism": Successful teams now need a backup netminder capable of keeping them alive in a tight series. [Sports Illustrated]

Meanwhile, Matt Larkin thinks there's too much danger in playing a goalie tandem in the playoffs and says the evidence will back him up. [The Hockey News]

And while we're on the subject, the St. Louis Blues are going back to Brian Elliott as they try to avoid elimination by the San Jose Sharks in tonight's Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. [ESPN]

Meanwhile, Patrick Warburton just got an awesome gift that immortalizes one of his most memorable roles.

Red Deer Rebels forward Jake DeBrusk is one of seven players in the 2016 Memorial Cup whose fathers have played at the NHL level – and then there's Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nolan Patrick, whose uncle James is a Stars assistant coach.

In the wake of the IIHF World Championships in Russia, Colin Fleming says it's long past time to put Soviet icon (and, briefly, Dallas StarSergei Makarov in the Hockey Hall of Fame. [SI]

Also in SI: There are, count 'em, three Stars – Patrick Eaves, Johnny Oduya and Jordie Benn – in the gallery of Best Beards of the 2016 NHL Playoffs. [SI]

As the NHL gets closer to a possible expansion announcement, Gary Lawless asks if Las Vegas will have room for hockey if the NFL gets to town first. [TSN]

Finally: Yesterday was Cody Eakin's 25th birthday. Give it up for the Ginger Ninja.