The Dallas Stars were consensus winners of the 2017 offseason, which is only marginally better than winning squat-almighty. But there’s reason to believe all this improvement on paper will translate to real wins on real ice, and NHL.com is here to tell you why.
Stars beat writer Sean Shapiro reminds that the changes start on the top offensive line, with Super Best Friends Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. [NHL: Season Preview]
Left wing Jamie Benn is expected to enter training camp healthy for the first time since 2014-15, when he won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL leading scorer, and center Tyler Seguin reportedly has had a strong recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.
Hitchcock has made it clear he wants Seguin to be the No. 1 center after he spent most of last season on the wing, and adding [Alexander] Radulov gives Dallas potential for one of the most dangerous top lines in the Western Conference.
Sean also tried to put the “which center becomes a wing?” discussion into perspective. [NHL: Three Questions]
When the Stars signed [Martin] Hanzal, they created a bit of a logjam at center. Hitchcock is dedicated to using Tyler Seguin as the No. 1 center, meaning that either Hanzal or Jason Spezza likely will have to move to wing this season. Hanzal has never played wing in his NHL career, and Spezza has been at his best in Dallas when at center. It's going to be an interesting decision for the new coaching staff. The Stars do have a history of turning centers into wings; captain Jamie Benn started his NHL career at center before moving to left wing.
Stats fans get their fix from Rob Vollman, who looks at coaching, netminding and special teams to measure what fans can expect.
Ben Zweiman delivers the fantasy outlook (spoiler alert: get in on Ben Bishop early).
And 2017 No. 3 overall Miro Heiskanen, plus fellow Finnish D-man Julius Honka, lead the way on Sean’s best-prospects list.
The Texas “bathroom bill” is a very real issue with very real potential consequences for major sporting events such as the 2018 NHL Draft.
The NHL said they will ‘reassess’ hosting the 2018 draft in Dallas if Texas passes an anti-LGBTQ bill: https://t.co/Dt3jrQvikq— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) August 10, 2017
Longtime Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw gives the Stars a thumbs-up for opposing the legislation.
Chris Smith of Icethetics takes a look at how Dallas’ wordmark Draft logo fits in with the identity program the NHL has used and evolved since 2010. [Icethetics]
What is Segs doing with his summer? He spent part of this week with Cowboys icon Troy Aikman, working on a TV spot for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
Also some of this. #Canadian
Around the league(s)
If you live in an NWHL city, you’ll be happy to know that season tickets are now on sale.
After some high-level legal wrangling, the Vegas Golden Knights finally have an approved trademark for their name, but not their logo. (Buy those official shirseys with confidence, sort of.) [SBNation]
Speaking of the new kids on the Pacific Division block, Wayne Gretzky believes they can do a great deal for the sport’s popularity out West. Check out this entry from DBD’s newest sibling blog, Knights On Ice.
Wayne Gretzky thinks the Golden Knights can boost hockey’s growth in the west: https://t.co/UdIDejy83i— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) August 10, 2017
On the anniversary of the Edmonton Oilers trading The Great One to the Los Angeles Kings, Jared Clinton looked at the biggest shockers in the 29 years since. (Bonus round: Guess how many involved the Boston Bruins or the Montreal Canadiens.)
The Jaromir Jagr Signing Watch continues, and even as the legend allows that he “didn’t expect it would be so hard to get a job in the NHL,” he’s looking at every other possibility – including the team he owns, HC Kladno.
I’ll just leave this here.
┏┓— AOL KEYWORD: Mike (@mikeFAIL) August 10, 2017
┃┃╱╲ in this
▔▏┗┛▕▔ would sign
Jaromir heckin' Jagr
Remember when they said players in the AHL could go to the 2018 Winter Olympics? Yeah, well, that’s only for guys on one-way contracts, so sit down.
Good plan let's keep them buried in the minors where as few people can see them showcase their skills as possible https://t.co/y6uLZfL3pq— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) August 7, 2017
On a lighter note: If you’re an Overwatch fan who eagerly awaited this week’s Summer Games update, you have even more to look forward to than you imagined. (Resolved: that Ilya Bryzgalov quotes be part of every update, from now on.)
Overwatch has added a famous hockey reference in their latest summer update: https://t.co/8Fg8LcDsOt— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) August 9, 2017
Another legendary hockey personality, Theo Fleury, says over-coaching has stifled most of the current generation of players. [Sportsnet]
From Cedar Park
The Texas Stars have posted an interview with new goalie Mike McKenna on everything from working with prospects to his 2017 Calder Cup run with the Syracuse Crunch to the food in Austin. (He’s already preparing to wait in line at Franklin Barbecue.)
On the Bench, purveyors of “Canada’s most misleading hockey advice,” got together with Kings-man Jeff Carter to take his goal-celebration game to the next level. Enjoy.