Congratulate yourself: You just made it through the worst hockey month of the year. It’s finally September, so relax and enjoy your Labor Day weekend in the sure knowledge that Winter Is Coming, or something.
Meanwhile, Mike Heika of The Dallas Morning News is still sharing some of the more interesting questions from his weekly chats, and this one cuts to the chase on the Dallas Stars who are chasing new deals:
Which guys entering contract years do you think are most important to have long term?
Heika: ...Players like Antoine Roussel or Dan Hamhuis, who are in the final years of their deals and can become UFAs next summer, are support players who are making good money already. They can be replaced if they don't have a good year, so there's not as much concern about their money. The guess is neither is going to sign a long-term deal
Maybe the one guy who is an interesting case is Valeri Nichushkin. He is playing the final year of his KHL contract, and will want to sign a big deal to return to the NHL next season. If he has a great year in the KHL and maybe in the Olympics, he could sign a significant deal to return to the Stars. If he does not play well, he might have to sign a team-friendly deal to come back and prove he can play in the NHL.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
The Stars have announced their full 2017-18 broadcast schedule. Eighty of their 82 games will be broadcast on FOX Sports Southwest, with no nationally televised games until March (sorry not sorry).
They’ve also announced that Dave Strader will once again write his own broadcast schedule as he continues his battle with cancer.
Dave Strader will remain focused on his treatments. Like last season, when he is available to call games, he will & Razor will do color. pic.twitter.com/2rmzTrkfn0— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 30, 2017
By the time you read this, the Stars may already have announced their 2017 Traverse City Prospects Tournament roster (traditionally released on Sept. 1). Sean Shapiro will have it when they do. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Get to know Tyler Pitlick, the 25-year-old former Oilers forward who could be the Stars’ next Patrick Eaves-type secret weapon.
In more Tyler news, Tyler Seguin played 3-on-1 hockey with The Ticket, and it still wasn’t close. (Although it must be said that Razor is already nearing midseason form with the PxP.)
Meanwhile, on the NHL Network, Dan Rosen has put Julius Honka on his preseason Calder Trophy watchlist. Does this more-or-less official blessing mean Li’l Murderface has officially arrived?
And the Stars made Satchel Paige’s list of the NHL’s four most-improved goaltending situations, courtesy of Ben Bishop. [SBNation]
Around the league(s)
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association have announced a major gift to help the Texas Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Harvey.
NHL and NHLPA announce a donation of $200,000 to the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity in support of relief efforts in Houston.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) August 30, 2017
You believed in us when no one else believed.— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) August 30, 2017
And for that, we'll be forever grateful.
Simply put, thank you for being you, Shane Doan. pic.twitter.com/X1xrE28zDl
The good wishes poured in via everyone from Teemu Selanne...
Shane Doan, Great human being, amazing career, Thanks for everything you have done for hockey, good luck life after hockey my friend pic.twitter.com/OXC1iA3iIv— Teemu Selanne (@TeemuSel8nne) August 30, 2017
...to Jeremy Roenick and beyond.
Congrats to my teammate and great friend Shane Doan on an amazing career. The best player in @ArizonaCoyotes history! Enjoy retirement. #19— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) August 30, 2017
Patrice Bergeron spoke to the media about his recovery from offseason surgery and his preparation for the Boston Bruins’ upcoming season.
"I'll be ready for camp...I feel good."— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 31, 2017
Patrice Bergeron on his recovery from offseason hernia surgery: pic.twitter.com/Gh3t20uRqQ
Here’s the story behind Scotiabank’s 20-year, $800-million bet on naming rights to The Venue Formerly Known As Air Canada Centre. [Canadian Press via Sportsnet]
From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars have posted a time-lapse video from the H-E-B Center’s 2017-18 ice build. It’s kind of beautiful.
Travis Morin and Greg Rallo appear to be living in the locker room until it’s time to get started.
Is Josh Archibald the first player to have his baby baptized out of the Stanley Cup? Take a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins forward’s memorable day with the Cup – and enjoy.