The Dallas Stars have work to do this summer. From making a deal with Ben Bishop to sorting out new contracts for RFAs Radek Faksa and Brett Ritchie (and possibly re-signing UFAs Ales Hemsky and Patrick Sharp), the net and the forward corps will keep them busy enough by themselves.
But the Stars could have as much as $18 million in cap space this offseason, and that means a real chance to address the need for a left-handed defenseman – preferably one who can play on the first pair. Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News looked around for options and found five UFA D-men who may fit the Stars’ needs.
Could Philadelphia Flyers blueliner (and known Friend of Tyler Seguin) Michael Del Zotto enter the picture?
He is a bit of a high-risk defenseman and has been criticized by both Rangers and Flyers fans, but he will turn 27 in June, might be a bargain signing, and moves the puck very well. As it is with several of the other skilled defensemen, there is the worry that Del Zotto is redundant with [John] Klingberg and [Julius] Honka already in house. But he is a lefty and he could offer the possibility of a skilled pairing and also could offer a balanced point on the power play.
There are plenty of Stars fans – including a fair-sized DBD contingent – who’d love a closer look at the Washington Capitals’ left-handed DD Karl Alzner:
Alzner is 28 and is listed as 6-2, 214. He has been on Washington's top pair with John Carlson, so he has defended against the best players in the league. He missed some time in the playoffs with an injury, but is now back in. If the Capitals win Game 7 against the Penguins, it will be interesting to see how the remainder of the playoffs affect the market for both Shattenkirk and Alzner.
Of course, the Caps fell to the defending Stanley Cup champions 2-0 last night – which is as good a segue as any into one of Heika’s more interesting proposals: bringing back Trevor Daley.
...[H]e is a smart defensive player who can anchor a solid penalty kill, and it seems like he would be a perfect fit in Ken Hitchcock's system. What's more, he is one of the most respected leaders in Dallas Stars' history, and the team could use that as it tries to reshape not only the style, but the mindset of the organization.
And that’s not even his most eyebrow-raising suggestion for a former Star’s return. There’s more under the link. [SportsDayDFW]
There are just so many things to know about presumptive starting G Bish. Here are 10 of them.
Now that the Stars have made the Bishop move, Ryan Kennedy takes a look at what their next gambit may be. [The Hockey News]
Elsewhere in Heika, he told his Monday chat audience that he thinks the Vegas Golden Knights will draft Antoine Roussel, given the chance. [SportsDayDFW]
Before the Endless Summer of Our Discontent comes the 2017 Stars Development Camp. Dates are July 7-11, and location is Dr Pepper Star Center Frisco. Fans can attend open sessions for free; a more detailed schedule should be forthcoming soon.
The Dallas Stars will hold this year's Development Camp from July 7-11 at DPSC Frisco. On-ice sessions are open to the public. pic.twitter.com/jjUrc4oDZT— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 10, 2017
- Yes, as cleverly hidden in the top story, the Caps couldn’t make Game 7 stick. They got shut out 2-0 by the Pens, who will play the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Finals. [Pensburgh]
- And the Anaheim Ducks won Round 2 with two unanswered goals – including a game-winner from Nick Ritchie – to make it 2-1 in Game 7 over the Edmonton Oilers. They’ll meet the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Finals. [Anaheim Calling]
You know what that means. Spare a skyward glance for Maj. Patrick Eaves, who even now is a gift that keeps on giving.
With Ducks making conference finals, Stars get Anaheim's first-round pick in Patrick Eaves trade because he played 50 percent of games.— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) May 11, 2017
My Dearest Annabelle,— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) May 11, 2017
Despite my wounds I have rallied the duck regiment to victory.
I will be sending home a greater prize for my efforts
The Senators are the only team to qualify for the playoffs with a regular-season negative goal differential. How does that affect their Stanley Cup chances? [TSN]
Meanwhile, P.K. Subban has been fined $2,000 for embellishing a hit to the head he received in Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues May 4. (He was unable to serve the two-minute penalty in the game because he was in the locker room.)
Meanwhile, Ken Campbell opines that perhaps NHL players need concussion spotters to save them from themselves. [THN]
How important have special teams been in these playoffs? THN has done the sums.
At The Players’ Tribune, Preds defenseman Roman Josi breaks down the qualities that place his teammates (and two bonus players) among the league’s elite.
And in Cedar Park, the Texas Stars have signed forward Sheldon Dries and blueliner Shane Hanna, both from the NCAA, to AHL contracts.
Finally: Hockey fans and “fake sportscasters” Jakob Ardown and Olly Postanin take to an IKEA parking lot to demonstrate the face-off skills that will probably make you a league leader (in PIMs). Enjoy.