It’s the last week of August, and the deep hockey doldrums are nearly behind us — but in the meantime, Dallas Stars fans are filling the time by worrying some familiar sore spots.
Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News took on another question about just how tough it may be for players to adjust to new/old head coach Ken Hitchcock in last Monday’s chat:
Who's the player you see causing the most friction within Hitchcock's system? As in, not fitting in or refusing to buy in?
Heika: The easy choice is Jason Spezza, because I think he will not get the minutes he wants and might be asked to play on the right wing full-time.
John Klingberg also could tire of being criticized if he makes too many mistakes. Hitch is a detailed task-master.
Alexander Radulov might also have his moments of "friction" in a very foreign world to him.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
And you may still have time to submit your questions for today’s chat, which starts at 2 p.m. Central time. [SportsDayDFW]
No doubt you’ve seen Taylor’s roundup of resources and ways to help those enduring the brunt of Hurricane Harvey. The Stars are urging fans to assist the Red Cross.
Here’s an idea, especially for those of us in the DFW area (as always, a major destination on the Houston/Galveston evacuation route):
Airbnb has activated our host community to open their homes for $0 for those evacuating for Hurricane Harvey. https://t.co/bSXZPgh1HE— Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) August 25, 2017
Julie Dobbs spent her Sunday sorting donated items, and you can help starting at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28.
Donations coming in to Trusted World at 15660 N. Dallas Pkwy. If anybody wants 2 join in sorting come on!Could use more boxes,sharpies,bags pic.twitter.com/wGarMEn4W4— Julie Dobbs (@JulieAnnDobbs) August 27, 2017
And Devin Shore added his thoughts.
Thoughts and prayers going out to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Terrible to see but the people of Texas are strong.— Devin Shore (@devinshore) August 27, 2017
Despite using John Klingberg to sell the teaser trailer, the NHL Network didn’t name him to their Top 20 Defensemen list.
Mark Stepneski brought video of Stars super-prospect Miro Heiskanen ringing up a shootout goal against Red Bull Munich in Friday’s Champions Hockey League Group G game.
Here's Miro Heiskanen's shootout goal today in the Champions Hockey League. pic.twitter.com/VWrZqLVdsN— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) August 25, 2017
Sean Shapiro brought some additional info, including the fact that Heiskanen – at age 18 – is wearing the letter of an HIFK alternate captain.
Heiskanen had team-high 23:25 TOI in 4-1 loss. Had an assist, 8 shots, 1 block. Was only on ice for 1 GA, & that was 5-on-3 in final minute— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) August 27, 2017
Speaking of Sean, he posted another mailbag on Friday and discussed everything from what Antoine Roussel has to gain in his upcoming contract year to the relative strengths of Heiskanen, Klinger and Julius Honka. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Around the league(s)
The Boston Bruins are starting to get serious about a new contract for David Pastrnak. They’ve offered the star forward a choice of six or seven years at $6 million AAV, according to the Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont.
The New Jersey Devils won the Will Butcher sweepstakes. The Denver Pioneers’ Hobey Baker Award winner signed a two-year ELC yesterday, and Greg Wyshynski can think of about four reasons why.
Wyshynski also places Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin among the top 50 fantasy players for 2017-18. [Puck Daddy]
...while Sports Illustrated places Ed Belfour on its list of all-time best (and worst) college free agents.
Former Star Patrick Sharp, back with the Blackhawks, is one of three NHL’ers who may be due for an upswing this season, says Rob Vollman.
There could be some big bounce backs on the horizon. https://t.co/x1iGxZZ2Ao— NHL (@NHL) August 26, 2017
AHL and ECHL action
The Texas Stars are looking for a few good fans to join the Ice Patrol.
Meanwhile, the Idaho Steelheads have re-signed goalie Branden Komm.
The Vegas Golden Knights took advantage of Saturday’s McGregor-Mayweather hoopla at T-Mobile Arena to remind the world that there’s no birthday party for them in there...yet. Enjoy.