Mattias Janmark may have been the forgotten man on the Stars’ never-ending list of injured forwards last season. His injury was diagnosed before the season, so there was never a visual representation of “what could have been” had he been able to stay in the lineup. There was also no chance of him returning during the year, so for most fans, he was put into “out of sight, out of mind” territory for the extent of that painful season. This year, Janmark is ready to rock, and though he’s a bit apprehensive, he also thinks he is ready to contribute:
"I'm worried about a lot of things, because I've been gone for a year," he said. "But I feel good, and I think I'm stronger. I've had a lot of time to work on stuff, and now time will show how much it will affect me on the ice."
Though his 2015-2016 statline (15G, 14A) may not raise many eyebrows league-wide, Janmark’s positive impact on the lineup via his versatility and strong two-way play cannot be overstated, something that new coach Ken Hitchcock already seems to grasp:
"He's a player who can help us in a lot of ways," Hitchcock said. "He can play center, he can play wing, he's strong defensively, he's good offensively. You can use him in a lot of roles."
See more about Janmark’s return and the preseason opener at Mike’s place. [SportsDay DFW].
Jamie Benn, Ben Bishop, and Mattias Janmark are among the vets playing in the exhibition opener tonight.
A few more words from Hitch on the goal of the preseason:
With the boys set to take the ice tomorrow vs. the Blues, Hitch discusses his thought process on what he's looking for in preseason games. pic.twitter.com/SxcYTNtX3f— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 18, 2017
Here’s who our veterans are projected to square off against.
In what most Stars fans will agree is a controversial call, Tyler Seguin comes in at #22 on the NHL’s top player list.
For anyone who wanted to actually witness some sweet, sweet preseason action tonight and can’t make it to the American Airlines Center to witness it in person: sorry.
preseason games will not be streamed or broadcast on TV. The preseason game on 9/26 will be broadcast on radio.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 18, 2017
The other 30 teams
A look at some of the Central division candidates to win the Calder Trophy, with Julius Honka having an “above average” chance. [Mile High Hockey]
A little background on Tyler Wong, the guy who scored four goals for the Golden Knights on Sunday. [Sporting News]
Mikko Koivu is taking a page out of Dirk Nowitzki’s book and taking a pay cut to stay with his current team. [Sports Net]
Here are some stats to consider when drafting a fantasy hockey team. [Sports Net]
In the same vein, I know this article is a couple years old, but it is a pretty good breakdown of the pros and cons of some of the most widely used advanced stats in hockey, for the less analytically inclined. [SI.com]
A Swedish guy on a Canadian team isn’t super excited about traveling to China for two preseason games, though he gets why it’s important for the league. [Sports Net]
The NHL’s response to all the players who listed smaller goalie equipment as their number one rule change: nope. [Sports Net]