As the 2017 NHL expansion draft draws ever more near, the Dallas Stars and 29 other teams have some decisions to make – all on the QT, if they have their way. This probably means that fans will have to speculate wildly based only on supposition, if you can imagine.
Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News has posted your Sunday long read covering the basics, plus a look at both sides of any potential deals to be made with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Between its NMCs and pending UFAs, Dallas should have some flexibility to control its destiny to an extent, Heika writes – and that’s before we consider trades:
Teams can negotiate deals to give Vegas draft picks or an exempt player in exchange for not taking a player who is unprotected.
Because of the quick turnaround from June 14, the last possible date for the Stanley Cup finals, and the deadline for protected lists, look for trades to be made during the playoffs.
Golden Knights GM George McPhee has a Rubik’s cube of his own to solve – starting with the fact that he can’t keep 30 players with NHL contracts when he can only put 23 of them on his roster:
Vegas ... can acquire players with the hope of trading them. In fact, some have suggested they load up on goalies with their four wild-card picks and then start taking offers from teams like Dallas. That plan has flaws, as teams could wait them out and they might start panicking in September with too many goalies in camp.
One of the other options is to make deals directly with the teams. Would Dallas give up a draft pick or younger prospect to protect a current roster player? Would Vegas be better off acquiring assets and then signing free agents?
There’s a lot to talk about, and you’ll find more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
The Stars practiced in Frisco yesterday for tonight’s
late late show West Coast game against the San Jose Sharks. Puck drop is at 9 p.m. CDT. BYO coffee.
Brad’s preview is here, and Mark Stepneski has posted the official version.
Tonight is Brent Burns Grill Night in SAP Center, and it’s one of 10 creative promotional giveaways that have caught NHL.com’s attention this season. (The Ralph Macchio bobble-leg? Really, Isles?) [NHL]
Meet Rino Spezza and other role models in this video from the Stars’ 2017 Fathers and Mentors Trip:
John Klingberg is the funniest Star, as he will tell you himself, and that’s why he got the mic at Casino Night 2017. (Watch for Esa Lindell in full 007 mode.) There are photos and more video in the Stars’ Twitter feed. [@DallasStars]
Last night, in #Kill (and in the Western Conference wildcard race):
- Twenty-one-year-old backup G Juuse Saros was the star of the night as the Nashville Predators defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1. [On the Forecheck]
- The Colorado Avalanche allowed three goals in the second period and couldn’t make it to three wins in a row, losing to the Ottawa Senators 4-2. [Mile High Hockey]
- Brian Elliott stopped 31 shots and Dougie Hamilton earned three assists as the Calgary Flames shut out the Winnipeg Jets 3-0. [Matchsticks and Gasoline]
- The St. Louis Blues raced to an early lead and held the New York Islanders at bay in the third to win 4-3 at home. [Lighthouse Hockey]
- And the Los Angeles Kings stayed within three points of the second wildcard slot by handing the Washington Capitals their third straight defeat, 4-2. [Japers’ Rink]
As the Flames extend their winning streak to a franchise-record nine games, Mikael Backlund is emerging as a new face in the Selke Trophy conversation (and a poster child for #fancystats). [Sportsnet]
Also at Sportsnet: As Fort McMurray, Alberta recovers from “the Beast” – the Horse River wildfire that decimated the city and its surroundings last May – its local hockey team has become a beacon of hope.
One Dallas sports legend honors another, as Mike Modano discusses Dirk Nowitzki and his historic 30,000th career NBA point.
Meanwhile, another former captain, Brenden Morrow, has shared for the first time his current battle with his past brain injuries. [CBS DFW]
You already know Tom Sestito has been suspended for concussing the Jets’ Toby Enström – but why did the Penguins call up the AHL’er for that game in the first place? Ken Campbell chalks it up to hockey’s persistent “culture of revenge.” [The Hockey News]
Meanwhile, the league is seriously cracking down on...embellishment. Johnny Gaudreau and Jake Muzzin have each gotten their second diving fines of the season. [AP | Sports Illustrated]
Also at SI: Analyst Michael McCann examines the legal issues for retired NHL’er and current youth coach Andrew Peters if he is charged or sued for allegedly punching a 15-year-old during a Buffalo Junior Sabres hockey game.
The latest installment of “The Franchise” profiles Tom Gaglardi’s 11-year-old son, Wilson, who – like assistant coach Curt Fraser and first-round prospects Julius Honka and Riley Tufte – lives with Type 1 diabetes.
Finally: Curtis McKenzie is pretty jazzed to have a new contract with the Stars, and he’d like to tell you about it in GIF form. Enjoy.