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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Jim Nill Talks Goaltending, Defense and Who Benefited Most From the Postseason

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Elliotte Friedman talked with the 'Stache for his newest 30 Thoughts. Plus, looking ahead to NHL Draft Day, and inking up for Lord Stanley.

Eakin got a bounce, Russell is probably gone, and Lehtonen looks like a hold.
Eakin got a bounce, Russell is probably gone, and Lehtonen looks like a hold.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Elliotte Friedman's latest 30 Thoughts column features a special appearance from a familiar name. Friedman talked with GM Jim Nill about the Dallas Stars' burning questions, starting with the net and working all the way out.

The Goaltending Question seems always top of mind when it comes to Dallas, and Nill pointedly turned it around by asking Friedman how many L's Kari Lehtonen took this season, playoffs included. (The correct answer is 13.)

"No, we're not buying him out. That last game is not a full reflection of the season. Nobody remembers the game before where he stood on his head. He's disappointed, and the team is disappointed. We finished second overall, and everybody is focussed on the playoffs. Something went right too, you've got to be careful."

Nill also named the players who he believes gained the most from their 13 games of NHL playoffs hockey:

"Cody Eakin. We told him after he didn't have a great regular season, but in the playoffs, he set a higher bar. Radek Faksa. He changed our penalty kill. [Jamie] Benn, too. Yes, he's had success in the Olympics, but you have to live it to understand the playoffs."

There's plenty more, including Friedman's thoughts on how NHL expansion might proceed and what Matthew Tkachuk's Memorial Cup performance could do for his draft position. [Sportsnet]

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Mike Heika's weekly chat took place yesterday, and he discussed what to do about Jack Campbell, what fans think about Alex Goligoski, and who might have a Faksa-style breakout season in 2016-17. (Spoiler alert: Look for plenty of Stephen Johns jerseys in the AAC). [SportsDayDFW]

More Stars draft-day projections: Robert Nasso thinks giant (6-5) right-shooting center Tage Thompson, of the UConn Huskies by way of the U.S. National U18 Team, could be the perfect first-round fit – if the team doesn't trade its pick instead. [Today's Slapshot]

Tyler Seguin is back in the Toronto area for summer training. His mom is keeping the skillet hot. [SportsDayDFW]

Last night, in The Finals:

  • San Jose Sharks defender Justin Braun scored a crucial goal with 4:05 left in the third to force overtime, but Conor Sheary put the game away for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the bonus period. The Pens now lead the series 2-0. [NHL]

For some reason, The Boston Globe would like to remind everyone that a Stanley Cup final starring Joe Thornton and Phil Kessel was brought to you by the Bruins. [Boston Globe]

"These days, being a Bruins fan during the Stanley Cup Final has been reduced to choosing which former Boston star you'd rather see get his hands on the prize." – Eric Wilbur

Patric Hornqvist was the very last player drafted in 2005, the year Sidney Crosby went first overall. Now he's on Sid the Kid's wing, playing for the big prize. [TSN]

Never mind your snipers and your speedskaters and your NHL 16 fantasy lineup: Dean Lombardi wants to assemble a U.S. team for the World Cup of Hockey that can out-roleplay Team Canada's all-first-line roster. [The Hockey News]

Meanwhile, All-Star Game MVP John Scott wants to start his own World Cup team with his pal Phil and other guys who "may have been overlooked in hockey." [NHL on NBC]

In the latest installment of Down Goes Brown, Sean McIndoe explains how to be a hockey fan to The Guardian. "You could think of us as a kind of cult, except that cults can occasionally be reasoned with." Please, for heaven's sake, just don't get stabbed.

TSN's Kerry Fraser goes back to the deep mine of interpretation for Rule 48 (Illegal Check to the Head) to conclude that Patrick Marleau got what he deserved for that controversial hit on Bryan Rust in Game 1. [TSN]

The Florida Panthers reveal new logos and branding for their NHL and AHL teams today. Chris Smith of Icethetics has a preview.

Randy Carlyle led the Anaheim Ducks to their (so far) only Stanley Cup in 2007. Now he's taking meetings with the front office about returning to the fold. Are they serious? Is he? [Puck Daddy]

Winnipeg Jets defender Grant Clitsome has announced his retirement at age 31, due to a back injury and subsequent surgery that kept him benched for the entire 2015-16 season. [Sportsnet]

The 2016 Calder Cup finals began last night as the Lake Erie Monsters defeated the Hershey Bears 4-1. Here's the complete schedule.

Finally: The Stanley Cup sure does inspire a lot of ink. Check out these tattoos celebrating big wins (and one that, ahhhh, got a little ahead of itself).