The Dallas Stars are preparing for the offseason, and the armchair GMs among us are elbows-deep in speculation. Matt Pryor of The Hockey Writers examined some possible moves and foreseeable pitfalls as the team charts its future.
As the Stars work toward building a younger and bigger defense, they also have to think hard about who they can protect in a possible 2017-18 expansion draft, Pryor says:
If Dallas only protects three defensemen, which three? John Klingberg and Stephen Johns would seem to be locks, so the real choice is between exposing Esa Lindell or Julius Honka. Want to make the decision even more agonizing? Add one of the Stars' UFA blueliners to the mix. Do you expose both promising young defensemen, or the veteran you valued highly enough to re-sign just one year prior?
Among the forwards, he keys in on pending UFA Colton Sceviour as a player to watch:
Colton Sceviour offers Dallas excellent value as a depth forward. The only question is: Do other teams recognize his value, as well?
There's much more at the link. [The Hockey Writers]
Up early? The NHL Scouting Combine has finally reached the media-access stage, and Sportsnet is streaming live as the 114 invitees go through the event's famously grueling fitness tests. The first group, at 8:30 a.m. Central time, includes Auston Matthews; the second, beginning at 2 p.m. Central, features Patrik Laine. [Sportsnet]
Set your watch: Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals starts at 7 p.m. Central time on NBCSN, CBC and TVA Sports. The San Jose Sharks hope to capitalize on home-ice advantage against the Pittsburgh Penguins. [NHL]
Is Jason Spezza part of your Saturday plans? Dr. Giggles is signing autographs from noon to 1:30 p.m. during The Hangar's end-of-season sale today.
Mark Stepneski has posted a new prospect profile on Jason Dickinson after his first full professional season.
After telling the media that Sidney Crosby cheats on faceoffs, Logan Couture went on to say that everybody does. [ESPN]
And then Kerry Fraser waded in and pointed the finger at Evgeni Malkin. [TSN]
Kevin Woodley says the NHL's 2013-14 reduction of net depth is creating more opportunities for highlight-reel wraparound goals in the playoffs. [NHL]
Rumor has it that an NHL expansion team in Las Vegas is a "done deal" waiting to be announced. [NESN]
Gary Bettman says the league will provide "a more definitive word" on expansion plans after its June 22 Board of Governors meeting in...Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, the Québec City dream is in danger, as not even the Nordiques' history and the gorgeous new Centre Vidéotron can overcome an unfavorable exchange rate.
The board will also decide whether the league will send players to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Spoiler alert: The Governors have never been keen on interrupting the season every four years, and Bettman doubts the guvs care to "pay for the privilege" in 2018. [Los Angeles Times]
Watch this video (again) to remind yourself of several reasons why he's a projected No. 3 overall.
Meanwhile, NHL.com would like to remind you that this year's prospect lineup is full of European talent – including potential Stars picks Rasmus Asplund and German Rubtsov.
Former Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo is in talks with the St. Louis front office about one of their vacancies at assistant coach. Will he inherit the bench-boss position when Hitch retires? [Twin Cities Pioneer Press]
In more Blues news, Team Sweden will have to go the World Cup of Hockey without Alexander Steen: He's had surgery on a shoulder he dislocated in February, and his 16-week evaluation won't come until early October. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Finally: Meet Liam, a huge fan of of the Calgary Flames and especially Johnny Gaudreau. Liam's family lost their home in Alberta's devastating Fort McMurray fire, and when Johnny Hockey found out, he decided to check in with Liam on his ninth birthday. Enjoy. [FOX Sports]