After the smoking hellscape that defined much of the Dallas Stars’ 2016-17 season, it’s only fair that the team (and its fans) catch a break during the offseason. Fortunately, the good kind of breaks have been piling up lately.
Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News offers a summary as the team gets ready for NHL Draft month:
After dealing with injury, illness, bad breaks and bad mistakes that caused Dallas to plummet 30 points in the standings last season (the 14th-worst drop ever in the NHL), the Stars are having a wonderful offseason.
They were a beneficiary of the league's draft lottery, moving up from eighth to third. They were rewarded last week with another first-round draft pick when Anaheim moved into the Western Conference finals, upgrading a conditional second-round pick received in a trade for Patrick Eaves. And they acquired and signed goalie Ben Bishop, inking him to a team-friendly six-year deal at a salary cap hit of $4.9 million.
And all that pain may be paying off soon, as young players enter 2017-18 with both experience and resolve, says GM Jim Nill:
"I know the injuries really hurt us last season, but they also forced us to play our younger players," Nill said. "Now, I think we're ahead of schedule a little bit because of where those players are in their development and because we should be able to rely on them next season."
So ahead of schedule that they believe strongly in the chances for an historic turnaround in just one offseason.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
The Bish buzz keeps coming as Mike Modano weighs in.
Sean Shapiro talks about the Stars’ good week in his latest mailbag.
STARS MAILBAG: Big Ben comes to Dallas https://t.co/mq7lFTubV8— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) May 13, 2017
@DallasStars couldn’t resist another visual pun.
Yesterday, at the IIHF World Championships: Julius Honka scored this goal during Finland’s OT win over Norway.
And by the time you read this, @IIHFHockey may have posted the answers to the top five Team France questions for Antoine Roussel, et al.
But the really big news was the performance of Switzerland, including a 35-save showing by backup netminder Leonardo Genoni, in a 3-2 overtime upset of Team Canada.
Meanwhile, on Team Germany, New York Islanders G Thomas Greiss has run into trouble for social-media habits that...don’t travel all that well, especially back home.
Last night, in the Eastern Conference Finals:
- Bobby Ryan scored the game-winner and the Ottawa Senators continued to be the heroes of overtime as they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 to start the series. [Silver Seven]
Speaking of that Ryan goal, you may want to watch it again, more than once.
Trevor Daley, injured during Round 2, could be back in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineup soon.
Yesterday P.K. Subban celebrated his 28th birthday, and Montréal Children’s Hospital helped.
If you think you’ve heard everything about his special relationship with The Children’s, think again.
Did you know that P.K. and Phil Kessel are actually (wait for it!) pretty good team players? That news has finally made its way, via parcel post apparently, to the Coach’s Corner. [Sportsnet]
How will the NHL Expansion Draft impact each team? The Hockey News begins a new series with a look at the Atlantic.
How will the expansion draft affect each NHL roster? We preview each division, starting with the Atlantic: https://t.co/4zv7d8iCya— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) May 13, 2017
The Texas Stars will stay in the Pacific Division as the AHL announces the alignment for 2017-18.
It’s Bike to Work Week 2017. Craig Ludwig is doing it right.
Finally: Happy Mother’s Day, everyone. Enjoy.