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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Was The Hanzal Signing Necessary?

Did the Stars really need the center? Stars prospects in the Summer Showcase, Lundqvist sports some nifty new pads and other NHL news.

Dallas Stars v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Mike Heika had his weekly Q&A session on Monday. Heika thinks the signing of Martin Hanzal was unnecessary due to Jason Spezza having to be moved to wing with the plethora of centers.


Mike, I like you am puzzled by the decision to sign Martin Hanzal. Pre-expansion draft it was explained that Cody Eakin was too expensive for a fourth line center since Hitch was committed to using Spezza as the second line center. So Eakin gets selected by Vegas and Nill goes out and exacerbates the problem by signing Hanzal who appears to have no intention of playing wing. Now we are told that Spezza will likely play wing, although I don't recall hearing any warm embrace of that idea from the Spezza camp. You are exactly right, this is shades of Pierre Turgeon whose confused role as an excess centerman contributed to Hitch getting fired the first time. Unless Nill is angling to trade Spezza (probably not much of a market for a slow center that doesn't play defense and is overpaid), wasn't adding Hanzal just a case of Nill panicking in an effort to make a big offseason splash?

MikeHeika moderator

@Manhockey @Manhockey I'm not sure I can label what exactly this move is, until it plays out, but I think it was unnecessary.

I like Martin Hanzal, I understand what he adds to the mix as a big body who can win faceoffs late in a game.

That said, you are paying Jason Spezza $7.5 million for the next two seasons, and this move directly affects his ability to be a successful player. He prefers center, he likes to carry the puck, he has a history of making the most of power play time.

There is a chance he will not play as much center, that he will not carry the puck near as much, and that he will not play on the first power play unit. That's not getting the most out of him.

Maybe Hitch will convince Spezza to shoot more (always a criticism Spezza has dealt with) and will get a great season out of him. But then you look at Faksa, Shore and Dickinson and ponder how these young centers are going to be able to play center when Hanzal is here for three years.

It's very confusing.

Hanzal said at his presser he likes to play center and feels he's at his best when he's playing more minutes. He said his time in Minny was difficult because he had to adjust to a different role than he had in Arizona. That's scary to hear.

We'll see what happens, but it just seemed like an unnecessary add when the organization has plenty of depth at center.

He also picks the next Dallas Stars to be chosen for the Hall of Fame and weighs in who will have his number retired next. (SportsDay DFW)

In the World Junior Summer Showcase all 4 Dallas Prospects will be in action today. The USA team with Riley Tufte, Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger take on Fredrik Karlstrom and Sweden at 3pm (CT) on the NHL Network. Canada and Finland will play in the earlier game at Noon also on the HNLN. Mark Stepneski with a report on the prospects. (Between the Blue Lines)

Former goalie Marty Turco’s impressive season as the #1 goaltender is this week’s Defining Moment.

The nationally televised game schedule was announced earlier this week and on the downside Dallas will have only 2 games on NBCSN. On the plus side that is only 2 games of hearing commentators Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury.

The Stars have hired a new website manager, welcome Jeff Odom (@jeffdom) to Big D.

Texas Stars:

New Texas Stars president Brad Alberts has been on the job for a month now, he sat down with Stephen Meserve of 100 Degree Hockey for an interview. Richards has some exciting plans for the team and the Central Texas area.

If you live near the Cedar Park area the Texas Stars are looking for off-ice officials.

Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour, Curtis “Cujo” Joseph and Adam Oates are just some of the players that had success in the league despite not being drafted. Here is a top 10 list. Vernon Fiddler must be #11. (The Hockey News)

Could be interesting.

Ryan Johansen coming off a bridge deal just signed an 8 year extension. Are these type of contracts signed after a player’s ELC a good move by GMs? a look at the evils of bridge deals. (Yahoo Sports)

King Henrik Lundqvist’s pads for this season are remarkable.

Sticking with goalies Roberto Luongo pokes a little fun at himself.

The Predators D corps helped them reach the Stanley Cup Finals last season. They top this list of the 5 best bluelines heading into the 2017-18 season. (FanRag Sports)

Miro Heiskanen is not taking part in the Summer Showcase for Team Finland. Come December when the World Juniors start. He could be part of the defense that will have 5 first round picks for the Lions ( Lejonen). (NHL)

The NHL is starting a new series looking at all 31 teams.

The US Coaches for the Olympic team will be announced this Friday,

Capitals prospect Nathan Walker could be the 1st ever player from Australia to ever play in the NHL if he makes the team this year. (CSN MidAtlantic)

Mike Milbury is probably one of the least favorite analyst on NBC’s coverage of NHL games. Yahoo continues their What If series by looking at if Milbury was never hired by the Islanders. (Yahoo Sports)

Bryan Bickell describes his early symptoms of MS and how it affected his play in this latest Player’s Tribune.

Ken Hitchcock comes in at #14 in this look at coaches in the league. (CBS New York)

Mike Babcock was the coach that was 1st on that list has a warning for his star player Auston Matthews.

Finally hockey fans can debate whether Bob Probert was the best heavyweight fighter in league history.