Top to bottom, it’s been a rough year for the Dallas Stars organization, and for no one more than Dave Strader, who’s fighting for his life against a rare bile-duct cancer.
So it’s the best news possible, under the circumstances, that the Stars’ esteemed play-by-play announcer will call the first of the first-round Stanley Cup playoffs games between the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Fortunate to be feeling strong enough to work. So thanks @NHLonNBCSports for another chance to call playoff hockey! I'll be in Wsh Thu/Sat!— Dave Strader (@TheVoiceDS) April 10, 2017
Hopefully, this is just the beginning of an even longer comeback. Welcome back again, Dave.
The Dallas Morning News has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Dave also posted this comment on the end of Lindy Ruff’s tenure in Dallas:
Lindy Ruff was so supportive of my battle w/cancer. Having me read lineups prior to final game at JLA-I'll never forget. Best of luck coach.— Dave Strader (@TheVoiceDS) April 9, 2017
The DBD crew will keep you posted on coaching search news – in the meantime, Mike Heika and GM Jim Nill talked about assistants, Mattias Janmark, Valeri Nichushkin and other hot topics in a postseason interview.
Speaking of assistants, at least two will remain, says Owen Newkirk:
Nill said the team is retaining goalie coach Jeff Reese and video coach Kelly Forbes.— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) April 10, 2017
Nill said assistant coach James Patrick will not return next season. Kurt Fraser will have an opportunity to interview with the new coach.— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) April 10, 2017
Jamie Benn shared his thoughts during exit interviews yesterday. You can find them for many other Stars, including Janmark, Devin Shore and Antoine Roussel, at the team site. [Dallas Stars]
"We gotta find a way to put these seasons together consistently. We can't be going one in, one out every year." pic.twitter.com/1dvZEMbIJf— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) April 10, 2017
Sean Shapiro picked Tyler Seguin as the most quotable Star from exit day:
My favorite quote from exit day came from Tyler Seguin, who said, "we all had bad seasons. Well everyone except Adam Cracknell."— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) April 10, 2017
Julius Honka is spending some time abroad: Li’l Murderface will report to camp as Jere Lehtinen’s Finnish National Team prepares for the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
And goaltending prospect Landon Bow, currently of the Idaho Steelheads, finished fifth in the voting for the ECHL’s Rookie of the Year award.
Yesterday, in NHL management shake-ups:
- The Los Angeles Kings have gone full detonation, letting go of head coach Darryl Sutter, replacing GM Dean Lombardi with Rob Blake, and promoting Luc Robitaille to club president. [Jewels From the Crown]
- Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks have fired head coach Willie Desjardins and assistants Doug Lidster (who went to Vancouver with Whiteboard Willie from the Texas Stars) and Perry Pearn. [Nucks Misconduct]
- Tom Rowe is out as interim head coach/GM with the Florida Panthers and has been reassigned as special advisor to Dale Tallon, who is back in the manager’s seat. [Litter Box Cats]
By the time you read this, NHL Central Scouting may already have released its final NHL Draft rankings for 2017. Go visit.
Meanwhile, Jared Clinton takes a look at how the Stanley Cup playoffs might look if the league went to a three-point standings system. [The Hockey News]
Two years ago, Amanda Kessel’s hockey career was effectively over, ended early by post-concussion syndrome. Now, with yet another championship under her belt, she’s working to claim her place as quite possibly the best player in the world.
Finally: Yesterday was National Siblings Day, and a good time to remind everyone that hockey is a family game. Enjoy.