Aleš Hemský is one of those who will play for their nations in September, and he offered some perspective to Mark Stepneski on the importance of these international tournaments to international players:
"...For European guys it is always special when you can play for your home country," Hemsky said. "That's how we grew up. That's why we go for the World Championship and any tournament we have a chance to go; we are proud to represent, and it's huge in the home country."
Hemsky has played more than 100 games on the international stage for Czech Republic. He's had some success, winning a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics and bronze at the 2012 World Championship. And adding to the excitement is the passion of the Czech fans.
"It's fun to be a part of. Everybody stops and watches. There are 200,000 people in the streets cheering," Hemsky said. "I remember when I was young, and the Czechs won [Olympic gold] in Nagano [in 1998], everybody stopped and watched. I was in school, and we all watched it. It gets crazy."
The senior statesman of the Czech-Czech-Rouss' line also talked about the Stars' 2016 Stanley Cup performance and what it means for the up-and-comers:
"That's why you play; you want to play in the playoffs. You don't want to just play 82 games, and then nothing happens. It's a waste of the season," Hemsky said. ..."A few guys have been there, won a few rounds or been to the Stanley Cup Final but for those other kids, they can see how hard it is just to get to the second round and how hard it is to make the playoffs. Now they know."
Read the rest at the Stars' own homepage. [Stars Inside Edge]
@DallasStars has been posting some great photos of team members pitching in at this summer's Stars Hockey Camps, and Hemmer was out there, too:
Ales Hemsky was cracking jokes with the kids at the Dallas Stars Hockey Camp at DPSC Farmers Branch on Friday. pic.twitter.com/5I5Bvl1GOu— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 30, 2016
Meanwhile, the Captain wasn't going to let Jason Spezza's spirit guide have all the fun. The proof was in the photos as Jamie Benn presented certificates at the Rookie Girls Graduation.
Jamie Benn at the Rookie Girls Graduation at DPSC Frisco. Smiles all around pic.twitter.com/q2VLtaiWUA— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 30, 2016
Here's a little video of Jamie and a graduate. pic.twitter.com/KOgiWzvQcz— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) July 30, 2016
And Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News offers an update from Jamie's first media opportunity since his July 14 core-muscle surgery (in which he reveals – in case you were wondering – that playing for another team never entered his mind during the negotiation of his record-setting new contract):
"I fell in love with Dallas, Texas ever since I got down here [in 2009]. I have all the belief in [Stars general manager] Jim Nill and the coaching staff around here that we're going to do something special."
To cap it off, enjoy this ESPN.com interview with No. 14 and The Ticket's Bruce LeVine.
Jamie Benn on new deal, World Cup https://t.co/4ilVOCfwFD— ESPN NHL coverage (@ESPN_NHL) July 31, 2016
Your roundup for the day: JaBenn famously gave up baseball to see if this whole hockey thing was for him, but Sal Barry has found six professional players who did the opposite. [The Hockey News]
Ready for Stars vs. Kings in Frozen Fury XVIII? T-Mobile Arena is. Congratulations!
The attorneys representing former players in the NHL's concussion lawsuit have asked for new testimony from Gary Bettman after his written denial of any link between repetitive brain trauma and CTE. Watch the accompanying Naylor and Landsberg in the Morning video for their 30-second "30 for 30" about it. [TSN]
And the fallout from Dennis Wideman's concussion-hazed hit on linesman Don Henderson continues, as reports have come out that Henderson needed neck surgery for two ruptured discs and may not return to NHL ice. [Puck Daddy]
Colorado Avalanche fans can heave a sigh of relief: Star defenseman Tyson Barrie came to terms (to the tune of four years and $22 million) on Sunday afternoon, just before the ruling was due in his arbitration hearing.
How did the Arizona Coyotes convince a high-end free agent like Alex Goligoski that they're a team on the rise? Read about how everything from the arena tour to the highlight reel to the gift basket (containing a Coyotes dog leash) was researched and calibrated for maximum impact. [Arizona Republic]
Speaking of the Yotes, they also just added No. 16 overall pick Jakob Chychrun with a three-year ELC. [Sportsnet]
The NWHL free-agency period ended at midnight with a big rush of activity, including the signings of United States superstars Hilary Knight and Alex Carpenter by the Boston Pride. Catch up with all the movement at their new web address. [NWHL.zone]
Victory Press writer Jashvina Shah posted this handy score card.
Needless to say, Klefbom has since felt the need to clarify his remarks. [theScore]
How much shot-blocking do hockey teams actually need? Travis Yost takes a deeper look at shots blocked versus goals prevented and comes to a few conclusions. [TSN]
If you're in the Austin area, the Texas Stars have a new way for fans to participate in games this season.
Want to be a part of the game next year? Off-Ice Officials are now recruiting! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org! pic.twitter.com/X73reYUbl7— Texas Stars Hockey (@TexasStars) July 29, 2016
"You can see he's trying to prove something": The T-Stars name forward Matěj Stránský a player to watch for 2016-17. [Texas Stars]
Happy 91st birthday to the legendary Ted Lindsay, who celebrated on Friday and received this e-card from the Keeper of the Cup.
Finally: Submitted without comment. I'll leave that to you.
Introduced this to the five-year-old today. Now almost certain this will be the site of his first swear words. pic.twitter.com/nZ7t51tbZW— SeanFitz_Gerald (@SeanFitz_Gerald) July 31, 2016