Everyone says you can't start two goalies or carry eight defensemen. That's just not how you do in the NHL. So why would Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill – so prescient in so many ways – want to stay that particular course?
Mike Heika shares your confusion, but also your inkling that there's more afoot than we know. In his latest article at The Dallas Morning News , he contemplates a timeline for a goalie trade, if a trade is made at all:
That opportunity might come later when [Kari] Lehtonen and [Antti] Niemi have burned through some of their remaining salary and are more attractive in a possible trade. It could come if either or both have good regular seasons and become more attractive in a possible trade.
However, there's a case to be made that the next zord-ing up of Dallas' blueline could fix some of the problems in net, if the team solves the problem of carrying eight defensemen:
Lehtonen is an extremely hard worker and a physically talented net-minder, but he has some ghosts in his head.... Now, the move to a bigger, stronger, more defensive defense could help the goalies. The thought is Dan Hamhuis, Esa Lindell and Nemeth will be better at preventing scoring chances than Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers and Kris Russell, and that makes a lot of sense.
What doesn't make sense is the thought that the Stars need eight defensemen in the NHL. You have defensive depth in the AHL. If injuries occur, Julius Honka and Mattias Backman could be wonderful call-ups. You only create problems when you let Oleksiak sit out all but 19 games like you did last season.
There's more food for thought at Mike's place. [SportsDayDFW]
Frisco is a pretty good place to be a real sports athlete, as it turns out.
Is Ben Bishop on his way to Dallas? Luke Fox reads the tea leaves on the Lightning's Vezina candidate as Tyson Barrie possibly heads to arbitration and Kevin Shattenkirk possibly stays with the Blues. [Sportsnet]
Fox also puts up his list of the top 10 free agents still available as of the July 4th weekend. [Sportsnet]
Heika worked overtime during the holiday weekend and talked about plenty of Stars stuff on Twitter – from the defenders he thinks the team will protect in the expansion draft, to the prospect they probably won't be willing to give up for Bish (as well as the one they might). [Part 1] and [Part 2]
Speaking of the Las Vegas draft, have you taken General Fanager's mock draft tool for a spin? Find out who's exempt (Julius Honka), who's already protected by an NMC (Jason Spezza), who's projected to reach the 40/70 requirement (Radek Faksa) and more at a glance. [General Fanager]
Meanwhile, free agent Kris Russell is reportedly in the middle of a cash-throwing fight between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks (with the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs mixing in as well).
Not everyone is impressed. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
Also on NBC: Former Stars G Jhonas Enroth is one of five remaining free agents who could end up as high-value signings for some lucky team. [NHL on NBC]
The Nashville Predators drafted Jimmy Vesey before he was a Hobey Baker winner, and an arcane rule governing senior NCAA prospects has allowed him to walk away. Should that rule change?
Speaking of Smashville, remember when Shea Weber was captain to Alexander Radulov?
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2016-17 Montreal Canadiens: pic.twitter.com/jwGE9rpi8W— Sam Page (@samtpage) July 1, 2016
And remember when Patrick Eaves joined the Stars as an unheralded utility forward? Justin Dickie picks 10 of this summer's depth signings that could turn out to be exceptional values. [The Hockey News]
The Winnipeg Jets have wasted no time in signing superprospect Patrik Laine to a three-year ELC worth an average of $3.575 million per year.
And Laine wasted no time in bringing his unalloyed dudeosity to an #AskLaine Tweetchat. Learn his answer to the great question of our age: Is a hot dog a sandwich? [Winnipeg Jets]
Will the P.K. Subban trade have any effect on the Subbanator's pledge to raise $10 million for the Montréal Children's Hospital Foundation? The short answer is no. The long answer is worth reading, too. [CBC]
Finally: P.K. took a moment from his European vacation to give a shout-out – literally – to his new team. Enjoy.