Hey, Dallas Stars fans, only six more sleeps until the season begins! The Stars will host the first regular-season game in Vegas Golden Knights history, and it would seem no one cares anymore except about where Julius Honka will play next Friday.
NHL.com Stars beat writer Sean Shapiro addressed the team’s blueline conundrum in his mailbag post yesterday. And the solution he proposes is the one thing many fans don’t want to consider: that Li’l Murderface may benefit more from being in the press box in Dallas than from toying with the competition in Cedar Park.
There is nothing else Julius Honka can prove in the AHL. More time spent in the AHL will just consist of Honka dominating play and at some point getting bored with the level of competition.
He does need to get better defensively, but that’s not going to happen in the minors. The level of competition isn’t high enough to test him. And with only two coaches in the AHL there isn’t enough time to spend holding Honka’s hand through hours of video and individual drills — they also have other players and prospects to worry about.
It’s not the most ideal situation, but maybe Honka would be better served as the healthy scratch in Dallas to start the season. That way he could work every day with an NHL coach that’s known for molding young defensemen — Rick Wilson — and watch the NHL games up close.
Sean also talked about Radek Faksa’s potential role in allowing the Stars to run four lines of almost equal danger:
While it was nice in theory, Radek Faksa was never going to be truly comfortable on the wing next to Martin Hanzal.
Faksa played a bit of wing as a kid, but he’s been a full-time center since he was 11. On top of that it’s starting to look like the Stars will have a top line and three equal second or third lines.
While the Benn-Seguin-Radulov unit will get more minutes than most, I expect the second through fourth lines to have similar opportunities.
There’s much more at Sean’s site. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
The Hockey News has posted its 2017-18 Stars season preview, including projected roster, burning questions, and best/worst-case scenarios.
Josh Bogorad and Scott Burnside discussed the rising stock of Jamie Oleksiak and Devin Shore, and what the Stars’ final roster may look like, in their latest video.
Ken Hitchcock is pretty high on Tyler Pitlick’s potential, and The Other Tyler says he’s ready to live up to that.
Mark Stepneski says Ben Bishop is in goal for the Stars’ final preseason game against the Minnesota Wild. He also brought these roster updates:
Among those not playing in tomorrow's preseason finale: Benn, Seguin, Radulov, Klingberg, Janmark. HItch wants to look at other players.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) September 29, 2017
Opening night rosters are due Tuesday. Jim Nill said the Stars will probably get theirs in order Sunday or Monday.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) September 30, 2017
Meanwhile, social media Master of the Universe John Klingberg has been busy setting up his new IG account.
I’m now on instagram. Give me a follow @ klingbergjohn— John Klingberg (@johnklingberg) September 28, 2017
Here’s a sample!
Are you ready for Razor’s Emporium to get rolling again? Regional Broadcast Legend™ Daryl Reaugh looks raring to go in this dispatch from the annual Six Flags event for season-ticket holders.
Julie Dobbs shared this photo of strange doings at Bugs Bunny’s house:
Congratulations to Mark Nichols, winner of American Airlines Center’s Build Your Own Burger competition. You may have to wait to find out what’s in his winning recipe, though.
Around the league(s)
USA Today has posted predictions for the new season, including Peter Barzilai’s call that the Stars will win the Central.
Can the Colorado Avalanche bounce back from their league-worst 2016-17 season? Ian McLaren offers three tips, starting with the Matt Duchene issue.
3 ways Avalanche can avoid another disastrous season https://t.co/7eOwGvWqYn— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) September 29, 2017
NOLAN PATRICK VS DAVID KREJCI pic.twitter.com/ZhGweSwl77— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 29, 2017
Meanwhile, No. 1 draftmate Nico Hischier will make the New Jersey Devils’ opening-night roster, and coach John Hynes says he’s a top-six forward already.
Jaromir Jagr will not play for HC Kladno this weekend – which could mean he’s about to sign with one of the three NHL teams with whom he’s reportedly in contract talks.
Elsewhere, the Ottawa Senators have announced a two-year extension at $4.75 million AAV for Craig Anderson, the winningest goalie in franchise history.
Sens ink Craig Anderson to two-year, $9.5 million extension https://t.co/0i4isGcLQG— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) September 29, 2017
Is it time for Toronto Maple Leafs fans to get excited about the future? Of course not, says Steve Dangle, unless it is.
It’s the end of an era at Puck Daddy, as Greg Wyshynski announces that he will not re-sign with Yahoo in order to pursue a new opportunity.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The team plays its first home preseason game tonight in H-E-B Center – follow @TexasStars on Twitter for live coverage.
Tyler Seguin shares a last hurrah before the real work begins – and a bit of team bonding with Adam Cracknell and Alexander Radulov. Enjoy.