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Julius Honka Sent To AHL

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In one of the most headscratching moves this season, the Dallas Stars are sending Honka to the Texas Stars to get some playing time. Ignoring how he could literally do that in Dallas, it seems.

NHL: Preseason-St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Honka has not been getting playing time at the NHL level, so the powers that be decided it was time for him to get some. In the AHL, that is.

General manager Jim Nill is good at managing his assets, and his always been a proponent of cooking prospects until they’re nearly overdone in the minor leagues. Those two philosophies seem to be causing some angst with the roster decisions, as the Stars continue to carry nine NHL defensemen when they need only seven. (Well, eight now with Honka’s demotion.)

In the preseason, the coaching staff raved about how good Jamie Oleksiak looked, and he’s often gotten the call to play over Honka so far this season. Nevermind that he has made some of the most boneheaded plays of the defensemen on the ice that have led to goals against. Nevermind that the underlying numbers often show him trailing most Dallas blueliners in the possession metrics. He continues to get the chance to go out and play through the mistakes.

Honka, on the other hand, has some of the best possession numbers on defense. True, the points haven’t been racking up and he has made plenty of his own rookie mistakes. But that’s the thing - he’s a rookie, and should be given the opportunity to play through them if more veteran players like Oleksiak are given the chance to do the same.

In my opinion, he’s also been one of the few guys on the blueline that has made the second power play unit of the Stars look any kind of close to actually converting offensively. And that’s something Dallas needs to have happen - Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin can’t score all the goals for this team all the time.

I can’t justify this move in my head at this time. To me, having Honka out of the lineup for the Dallas Stars makes them worse, not better. And if the point is to win hockey games with the best roster possible, then Honka is in the top six on defense. Hard stop.