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Dallas Stars Daily Links: A Franchise Backup?

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Kari Lehtonen sees himself staying a Star for a while. Plus, upper body injuries, lock it in for Seattle, and happy thoughts.

Dallas Stars v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Before I start this, let me just say- the last time I did an intro about Kari Lehtonen, he gave up like 3 goals in 4 minutes that night and we almost changed it before it went up (I think it was the preseason, but still). Let’s hope that was just a coincidence and I don’t have some kind of weird curse on the guy.

Considering the condition he was in when he joined the Stars (not great), the fact that Lehtonen could be considered the Iron Man of Finnish goaltenders and is closing in on the top 30 of all-time wins for an NHL goalie is a pretty big surprise:

Lehtonen is tied with Miikka Kiprusoff for most appearances by a Finnish-born netminder at 623 and also is one win shy of 300 for his career, which would place him 31st all-time among NHL goalies.

After the Stars signed Ben Bishop to a six year deal this summer, however, Lehtonen knew that he might not be compiling the quantitative stats like he did in previous stages of his career. Still, he hasn’t let that detract from his motivation and love of the game and franchise:

"The last three years have been different, and it's taken some adjustments, but I'm happy with where I am," Lehtonen said of the reduced playing time. "I want to be a part of a team that wins, I want to take pride in the fact I can help us do well in any role. You can find happiness in different ways. Right now, I cherish every game I get to play, so that's happiness to me."

See the rest of the piece and a few more surprising Lehtonen stats over at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]

Stars News

Confession: I did a coin flip to decide whether Mike Heika’s or Scott Burnside’s piece on Kari would lead today. Mike won (tails), sorry Scott, we still love you:

The Stars have used over 50 (?!?) line combinations this season through 31 games. Which one is your favorite?:

Mike Heika opened up his mailbag/internet chat bag yesterday:

You know what your duty is now, Vern:

League Stuff

You want injury updates? The Sporting News has some injury updates:

  • Auston Matthews is day-to-day with an “upper body injury.” Ken Hitchcock does not approve of this message. [Sporting News]
  • Marc-Andre Fleury is BACK after a 25-game absence. [Sporting News]
  • The Blues, who are already missing Jaden Schwartz for six weeks, were dealt another blue yesterday when Alex Pietrangelo was placed on IR with a lower body injury.

Oh wait, here’s Mike Babcock to totally clear things up regarding Matthews’ injury. [SportsNet]

John Shannon locks in Seattle as an NHL franchise, accuses/congratulates Gary Bettman on being some kind of devious mastermind, and the ponders the fate of Houston and Quebec City. [SportsNet]

Answer to Jared Clinton’s question: the Stars on Wednesday night!:

Shea Weber is not at 100% as the Canadiens enter a brutal stretch of schedule. Somewhere off in the distance, you can hear Dave Lozo still complaining about the Weber for Subban trade (not that I thought it was a good trade, but it wasn’t quite as bad as Lozo would have you believe). [SportsNet]

Thinking happy thoughts can make Peter Pan fly in the movie Hook (RIP Robin Williams) maybe it will work for the Stars too? That’s it, only positive comments in the comments sections from now on:

RIP Zarley Zalapski (not to be inappropriate but he had an amazing name):

This insane pass almost made it from center ice to the opposite faceoff circle, and then got roofed by Sean Couturier:

Warning: this one is a bit of a heavy read:

Imagine at your job that your boss told you that in order to stay employed (and you can’t work for another corporation) you were going to have to move, but you could say 10 places you didn’t want to move to. Sound fun? That’s what some of the Senators are going through right now:

Unfortunately, a current Star and one of my favorite former Stars are on this list:

Finally, feel free to travel back in time and get me this North Stars kit for Christmas, but most importantly, the “Warm quilted Mittens” that are shaped like hockey gloves: