Everyone can’t wait to see what Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen will bring to the table in his first NHL season. But amidst all the hype and excitement surrounding the Finnish teenager, many people tend to forget that he is, in fact, a Finnish teenager, one who is now living on his own for the first time... in a foreign country... where very few people speak his native language...
Thankfully, he’ll have some help in adjusting to life in Texas and North America as a whole. In addition to Heiskanen, the Stars have three other Finns on the roster: Esa Lindell, Julius Honka, and Roope Hintz. One of them already has plans to help Heiskanen along:
“It takes time to figure it out,” Lindell said. “I was lucky that there was other Finns to help me, and I will try to help Miro as much as I can.”
The Stars will also do whatever they can to help Heiskanen settle in. The team asked the rookie to come to Dallas a bit earlier than most players in order to give him time to get comfortable:
“Especially for a guy like Miro, Dallas is probably going to be home for a very long time. We said it was really important for him to come super early,” Stars player development coordinator Rich Peverley said.
You can read more in Matthew DeFrank’s piece here.
ICYMI yesterday, here’s Remi Elie saying goodbye to his former teammates after being claimed by the Buffalo Sabres:
The guys take a minute during practice to say their goodbyes to Remi Elie, who was claimed off waivers by the Sabres this morning. pic.twitter.com/ALMeaY1V4E— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 2, 2018
Sean Shapiro takes a look at Roope Hintz, the rookie who more-or-less took Elie’s roster spot, and how he earned his chance to make the team this year: [The Athletic]
If you were wondering why Stephen Johns is out due to injury, here you go:
Stephen Johns has post traumatic headaches. It’s not a concussion.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) October 2, 2018
The obvious question is what happens to Carrick (or Roman Polak) after Johns is healthy again. And the answer might not be what you were hoping for:
Things can change, but after yesterday's trade the Stars are likely carrying 8 defenders when Johns is healthy. https://t.co/3M4AUv1p3A— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) October 2, 2018
Let’s continue the blueline talk: John Klingberg is different than past Norris trophy winners, but he’s a top candidate for the award nonetheless. [SportsDay DFW]
Around the League
The NHL season officially begins today! Here’s a list of just a few of the many storylines to watch out for this season:
As a hockey fan, you are almost guaranteed to overreact to every single game for the first week or so. Luckily for you, DownGoesBrown is here to talk you through it all: [The Athletic]
Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like Seattle is getting a hockey team:
Only a vote at December’s Board of Governors meeting stands in the way of Seattle being officially awarded an NHL franchise. That should be considered a mere formality at this point. (via @reporterchris)https://t.co/lWKjI8oYb9— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 3, 2018
Comissioner Gary Bettman said that expansion ideally happens in 2020 but that it depends on some factors (coughlockoutcough). As far as how Seattle affects re-alignment...
Bettman would not divulge potential re-alignment plans other than to say there won't be a massive re-alignment. If I had to guess, I would say Seattle goes into the Pacific and Arizona goes into the Central— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 2, 2018
Stars fans were focused on Remi Elie yesterday, but he wasn’t the only player to get claimed on waivers: [NBC Sports]
Quick, make your bets: how high does Miro Heiskanen land on this list?
Everyone, let’s have a moment of silence for Joe Thornton’s beard. And also pretend that it won’t be back come playoff time...