There’s been plenty of (only occasionally tempered) excitement about the Dallas Stars’ offseason to date and their chances of improvement with the 2017-18 season. It’s high time to check in with the gang in Cedar Park and take a good look at the Texas Stars, from which much of that projected improvement will be sourced.
The Stars’ AHL team missed the playoffs as well. DBD’s own David Castillo (who also covers the T-Stars for Wrong Side of the Red Line) acknowledges that the Dallas squad’s constant roll call of forward-corps injury took its toll on the junior team, too; many of his season reviews involve players who split time, at one time or another, between the DFW and Austin areas.
Remi Elie was one such player, and David takes a look at how he performed for both teams:
There were times in the AHL when Elie looked like the best player on the ice, rushing up ice with tempo and talent. Nobody questions his work ethic. Despite a top six role in the AHL, he made marginal steps forward with his production. His stint with Dallas was impressive, suggesting – somewhat paradoxically – that he might simply be better at the NHL level. He’s the kind of player coaches love, so whatever his ceiling, there’s much to suggest he won’t look out of place in the NHL.
One standout forward who didn’t get a call-up was Matej Stransky – but not because his play didn’t merit one:
Texas’ leading goal scorer has received relatively little fanfare from Dallas fans. Perhaps within the organization too, when they chose to call up [Denis] Gurianov and [Mark] McNeill over him late in the season despite his superior stats. Stransky is a little like Brett Ritchie – a power forward who protects the puck well with his imposing frame and who carries a heavy shot. Because he’s an RFA, Texas will probably try to lock him up as the go-to sniper of the bunch.
Who gets top marks, and who gets the Needs Improvement ratings? There’s more under the link. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Now up in Mike Heika’s player profiles: everyone’s favorite third-line center, Radek Faksa.
And Sean Shapiro continues his series of NHL Draft prospect profiles with a write-up on potential first-round blueliner Urho Vaakanainen - who, like fellow Finn Julius Honka, is an alumnus of JYP Jyväskylä.
ESPN’s second annual ranking of the world’s 100 most famous athletes contains one (1) Canadian – and no NHL players. [ESPN World Fame 100]
Meanwhile, he won’t rule out trading Alex Ovechkin. [NHL]
Nolan Patrick & Nico Hischier have lots of interviews lined up, & the Devils have drawn interest in their No. 1 pick https://t.co/JA0sygQOYT— Chris Ryan (@ChrisRyan_NJ) May 30, 2017
Shawn Thornton is “enjoying the thought that I'm never going to have to get punched in the face ever again” as he prepares to join the Florida Panthers’ front office – and spend more time with his own charitable foundation. [Sports Illustrated]
In Not The Stanley Cup Finals News: Jake Waddell, Nashville Predators fan and self-proclaimed “dumb redneck with a bad idea,” will not face charges for throwing a dead catfish onto PPG Paints Arena ice during Game 1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. [AP via ABC News]
You might not prosecute, either, after hearing about the Troll Level: Kanye amount of preparation this guy put into this particular stunt.
This is how the catfish tosser did it, in his words.— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) May 30, 2017
This is how he committed his terrible crime.https://t.co/Jq00kriPIM
Finally: Malcolm Subban live-tweeted Game 1, and his response to brother P.K.’s overturned goal was all 100 points. Enjoy.