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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Forging an Identity

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Prior to the break, the Stars finally seemed to have established themselves. Plus, Canadian Olympians, a Dallas guy bought the Hurricanes, and the Sabres’ botched tank job.

Edmonton Oilers v Dallas Stars Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Happy Friday everyone! One more sleep and a wake up and then Stars hockey is BACK. Hopefully it’s back to how it was before the break, where the Stars finally seemed like they were starting to gel and really started to look like a contender. While the beginning of the season was quite frustrating for a lot of us, Mike Heika is here to hit us with a dose of reality and remind everyone just how big of a fundamental shift the team was going through:

This team for four seasons under Lindy Ruff wanted to “activate” defensemen and outnumber the opposition at the opponent’s net. But new coach Ken Hitchcock wants to work his system out of a defensive base and allow the offense to be created by turnovers, counterattacks or relentless play once possession and puck placement are established.

Thinking that would happen in 10 or 20 games probably was optimistic, to say the least...

On top of that, the team was trying to incorporate several players who were acquired during the offseason (20% of the roster when everyone is healthy with Bishop, Methot, Pitlick, Hanzal and Radulov) which led to some growing pains while everyone learned to play together. Now that they’re getting more comfortable, a lot of the new guys are playing pretty, pretty good:

Players such as Radulov (38 points in 43 games) and Pitlick (plus-10 in 41 games) have fit in seamlessly among the forwards, while Bishop is playing most of the games in goal (19-11-2, 2.50 GAA, .917 save percentage).

See more over at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]

Stars Stuff

Scott Burnside had a chat with Jim Nill, who also believes the Stars are trending in the right direction. [NHL]

The Captain opines on being the captain:

It’s mailbag time for Sean Shapiro. Shoutout to our boy Tyler Mair for getting his question answered first (paywall alert):

Around the League

The Hurricanes officially have a new majority owner, Tom Dundon. If you’ve heard that name before, it’s because he’s a pretty big deal in Dallas, including being a primary investor in Top Golf, which makes him a-okay in my book. He has also promised to keep the team in Raleigh. [Sporting News]

Here’s a little more on Dundon from LeBrun:

This article (and this chart) was very encouraging to me:

Don’t trust the process in Buffalo: how the Sabres tanking plan has gone awry. [Sporting News]

Canada has released their men’s Olympic hockey roster, which includes several former (and not terrible) NHL players, including former Dallas Stars player Derek Roy. (Ed. note - Bonus quiz: what player did the Stars draft with the 2nd-round pick they got back for Roy in 2013?) [SportsNet]

ESPN’s Power Rankings say that the top worry for the Stars is to get Jason Spezza going...:

Potentially bad news for the Lightning from last night:

Here’s some video of the injury for the non-squeamish. I am very squeamish about injuries and accidentally saw that on Twitter.

As a Naval Academy grad (and a reasonable person), I’m going to have to side with Vegas on this one: