Now that we've taken a look at the hockey media's response to the Dallas Stars' blockbuster deal with Jamie Benn, it's interesting to see how a longtime sports writer in a sports-mad town reads the eight-year, $76 million agreement between the Stars and their captain.
Enter Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News, who once again provides perspective as a beat writer for Dallas-Fort Worth's other big-league teams. After a couple of reminiscences about "awkward" Stars announcements past, Cowlishaw gets to the heart of his thesis:
Friday nights are not normally reserved for breaking news. But, in this case, the club chose the "Stars Party in the Park" to let GM Jim Nill announce that Jamie Benn had signed an eight-year extension that gives him more than the richest contract in club history.
It's the best and most sensible contract in D-FW sports.
You might suggest that $76 million is a big guarantee in a sport that doesn't pass around the funny money quite like the NBA, and you'd be correct. But there's no better player on any of the four major pro sports teams here and there's no great player more dependable, either.
Cowlishaw compares The Captain's new contract to key long-term deals given out by other local franchises, including the Texas Rangers:
Most of Texas' larger, long-term deals belong to players whose ability to play to those levels is questioned daily -- from Prince Fielder to Shin-Soo Choo to Elvis Andrus.
The Rangers also have good young players such as Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor under team control for four or five years. Good key players to be sure, but I don't see anyone on this list with potential MVP next to their name as it has been and remains for Benn.
There's much more right here. (Clear your cookies!) [SportsDayDFW]
Elsewhere in the DMN, Mike Heika named his top five Stars of all time, discussed whether the current line-up can win a Stanley Cup and talked about why the Kris Russell trade "looks even worse now" in his July 18 Stars chat. [SportsDayDFW]
The New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators have swapped centers – Mika Zibanejad is headed for Manhattan, while Derick Brassard is Canada-bound. SB Nation blogs Blueshirt Banter and Silver Seven discussed what the trade means for both clubs. [Silver Seven]
You may remember Harley Haggarty from his amazing piece on fighting in the junior leagues last year at The Players' Tribune. Now he's back for another round.
Speaking of Tampa Bay, GM Steve Yzerman will have to move carefully if he wants to keep his suddenly cap-strapped team in Stanley Cup contention. Is a Ben Bishop trade in the offing? [Sports Illustrated]
Lyle Richardson thinks Bish and others may be on the move – but not to Dallas. [The Hockey News]
And the new, bonus-focused deals signed by Steven Stamkos, Loui Eriksson and other high-profile UFAs demonstrate a new trend – contractual protection against the next (inevitable?) NHL lockout.
Is it possible for a team that doesn't even have a name yet to win the 2016 free-agency season? Thomas Drance makes the case that most moves have been good moves...for Las Vegas. [Sportsnet]
Phil Kessel and his sister, Amanda: Great siblings, or greatest siblings ever? During Phil's day with the Cup, he shared a drink from hockey's Holy Grail with the fellow puck star he calls the #BestKessel.
The Thrill also kept his promise to bring the Cup back to Toronto – and used it to cheer up some special fans at the city's Hospital for Sick Children. [CBC]
Finally: Yes, Pokémon are everywhere – including the NHL. We hear you can find an Oduya in the AAC. #GottaCatchEmAll