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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Ghosts of Defensemen Past

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Jim Nill has been trying to get the D squared away for some time now. Plus, the Vegas hockey scene, RIP to someone who meant a lot to the NHL, and polite referees.

Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The biggest cause for consternation so far in the young season, aside from the, uh, underwhelming goal scoring, has definitely been the defense. Not even so much the performance of the defense (though it hasn’t been special), but more specifically who is actually playing in each game. One of the links below, which I’m sure will draw the ire of many readers of this site, is a glaring example of that. This issue isn’t specific to this season, either; rather, it’s plagued Jim Nill for his entire tenure as GM:

General manager Jim Nill has been seeking the perfect mix, and that has caused a blending of both sweet and sour. He's tried short-term veterans, up-and-coming youngsters, and steady home-grown types, and he still hasn't found the right formula.

However, he might be getting close to something approaching the right mix. While there are definitely too many chefs in the kitchen right now, the Stars might finally have a core group to build around:

The Stars are getting close. They could have three of their four core guys already on the team in John Klingberg, 25, Esa Lindell, 23, and Julius Honka, 21. They could have their next core guy a year away in Miro Heiskanen, 18.

Ken Hitchcock, whose lineup decisions have not pleased everyone, also thinks they’re getting close. He also really seems to like Jamie Oleksiak. But he has coached many teams deep into the playoffs before, and he knows that defense is the way to get there:

"When you look at the teams that are consistent in the West, it's because they have two or three defensemen who can dominate the game," Hitchcock said.

See more over at Mike Heika’s place. [SportsDayDFW]


Stars News

I’ll just leave this here for you all...

I have a feeling this news will get slightly less reactions:

Ken Hitchcock believes the power play can improve on what has already been a pretty good start. [SportsDayDFW]

Scott Burnside’s 5 Takeaways from Tuesday night’s win. [NHL]

Is Dallas becoming Draft Town?

Mike Heika answers some questions about Alex Radulov’s Stars start, low goals per game, and not sticking to it for 60 minutes. [SportsDayDFW]

Take a listen to Scott Burnside’s latest podcast, I guarantee you will enjoy it:

In other podcast news, Sean Shapiro and Owen Newkirk decided that since they carpool to games together, they might as well record a podcast on the way home. And thus, a Carcast was born. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]

I also guarantee you will enjoy Razor’s Emporium:

Martin Hanzal is a-okay with playing his former team. [SportsDayDFW]

Around the League

It’s the middle of the week, so let’s power rank!

  • Somehow the Blackhawks have only played 4 games? [Sporting News]
  • A little more on the Hawks: despite the number of goals they’ve scored, they are getting outshot by 4.5 shots per game. [SportsNet]
  • The Hockey Writers say you shouldn’t draw any conclusions about teams until (American) Thanksgiving, and then draw some conclusions. [The Hockey Writers]

Not terribly surprising: Russia and its roster of KHL-ers has the best odds to win Gold at the Olympics. [Sporting News]

Ryan Lambert opines on the Flames’ arena battle, Golden Knights goalie issues, slashing penalties, and more. [Puck Daddy]

Potentially very bad news for the Bruins:

Elliote Friedman’s 31 32 Thoughts this week take a look at teams that are feeling a bit of pressure after poor starts:

Matt Larkin thinks the Capitals need to trade for a defenseman NOW. I wonder what they’d be willing to part with in return? [The Hockey News]

That is some pretty good company to be in:

Be careful who you entrust with your money, as Dany Heatley and others can attest to:

Dave Lozo breaks down the burgeoning Vegas hockey scene:

RIP Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip frontman who meant a great deal to a great many people in the hockey world. [SportsNet]

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2011 - Day 3 Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

And remember, even when you’re scolding someone, you can still be polite: