It’s official: The Dallas Stars will hold their 2018 “Hockey Is For Everyone” night on Friday, Feb. 16. The game against the St. Louis Blues – one of the Stars’ most bitter Central Division rivals – promises to be a big one, and thus a great platform to celebrate diversity in the hockey family.
Tyler Seguin, who works with organizations ranging from the Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association to After-School All-Stars, has been chosen as the team’s ambassador. He’s looking forward to the opportunity, writes The Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika:
“First and foremost, it’s an honor to get the privilege to be the face of it,” Seguin said. “Since touching down in Dallas, I’ve tried to get the community into loving hockey, it’s been a passion for me. I think hockey is for everyone, so I’m excited to get the call.”
The Stars are going to try to celebrate several groups of people, so there will be a lot of moving parts. You Can Play is an NHL program dedicated to “ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.” The Stars will tape their warm-up sticks with rainbow Pride tape to honor the LGBTQ community and will then auction off the sticks with proceeds benefiting the You Can Play Project.
The organization received some fan criticism last year when it stumbled over its HIFE promotion and scheduled its annual PEVS Protects Night on the same weekend. With the 2018 NHL Draft on the way to Dallas, despite national concern about Texas bathroom-bill politics, the team seems determined to make up for it:
The Stars are encouraging different groups to attend the game, make signs and make the night a celebration. While it’s difficult to squeeze all of the interests that fall into the “Hockey is For Everyone” category into one night, fans can take this opportunity to weave the arena into a giant Tapestry.
”I’m a big believer in that any way we can enhance the way other people live their lives, we should,” Hitchcock said. “We’re the lucky ones, we get to play a game for a living. Any time we can include people or help people along, I think that’s good for us.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
For your bookmarks: The NHL is keeping a Hockey Is For Everyone daily digest throughout the month of February. [NHL | Hockey Is For Everyone]
Injury update: Ben Bishop will sit out tonight’s game after taking a puck to the face on the bench. Kari Lehtonen will start at home, and Antoine Roussel is a game-day decision.
Hitch provides an update on Ben Bishop after he was hit in the head with a puck while on the bench during Thursday's game. pic.twitter.com/GFHOWj6sgW— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 2, 2018
It appears that Julius Honka will be rewarded for his +2 in Thursday’s win against the Arizona Coyotes:
By the way, same six defenseman tomorrow as last game. Hitchcock said he will put Dan Hamhuis and Greg Pateryn back together.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 2, 2018
Craig Ludwig is all in on the ’90s-night action: He’s doing a @DallasStars Twitter takeover after morning skate.
We'll be doing a Twitter Takeover with two-time Stanley Cup Champ and our current color commentator, Craig Ludwig, tomorrow after morning skate! Submit your questions for him using #AskLuddy! pic.twitter.com/5eZyWBkkha— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 2, 2018
And longtime PA announcer Bill Oellermann will be back on the mic as the Stars’ in-arena voice.
I’m proud to announce as part of tomorrow night’s #RetroNight presentation, former @PAVoice of the @DallasStars, Bill Oellermann will be in the PA chair to call the game. Bill spent 18 years behind the mic. Let’s give him a warm welcome. I can’t wait to hear him again! #GoStars pic.twitter.com/hE6RBn0JyM— Jeff K (@jeffk_stars) February 2, 2018
It’s been a heck of a ride for John Klingberg – and that goes for just about any season. Scott Burnside retells the story, because it’s always a good read.
With Klinger’s Norris Trophy case gaining traction, it follows that fantasy-league analysts are noticing blueline partner Esa Lindell, too. Easy E gets some love in Pete Jensen’s latest Fantasy Mailbag.
And in case you missed last night’s All-Star Access show, here are some of the highlights from the Ghost of Gothenburg’s All-Star debut.
Just a taste of what you'll see in tonight's NHL All-Star All Access show, presented by @Honda. #NHLAllStar— NHL (@NHL) February 2, 2018
Tonight on @Sportsnet at 11:00 p.m. ET
Tonight on @NBCSN at 11:30 p.m. ET
Saturday on @NHLNetwork at 12:30 p.m. ET
Thursday Feb. 8 on @TVASports at 11:00 p.m. ET pic.twitter.com/glGxiY8rnD
Around the League(s)
Eric Staal scored twice and the Minnesota Wild kept the Vegas Golden Knights pinned in their own zone to take a 5-2 victory in last night’s only Central Division action. [Hockey Wilderness]
That just means the #MDK will be everywhere tonight. Here are the non-Stars games on tap:
- Winnipeg Jets vs. Colorado Avalanche, 6 p.m. CT
- Blues at Buffalo Sabres, 6 p.m. CT
- Nashville Predators vs. New York Rangers, 7 p.m. CT
- Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m. CT
Mike Fisher is returning to the NHL for one more run at the Stanley Cup. Steven Psihogios names five others who should consider doing the same, from Martin Brodeur to – wait for it! – Jaromir Jagr.
The Golden Knights set a new record for inaugural-season wins by an expansion team after defeating the fearsome Jets on Thursday. Now they’re coming to terms with the Stanley Cup buzz.
Now that the Golden Knights are the best expansion team of all time, it’s time we talk about this team being Stanley Cup contenders: https://t.co/amDMVOznhl— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) February 2, 2018
At the other end of the spectrum, the Ottawa Senators’ lost season continues as Bobby Ryan loses at least two games to his fourth hand injury of 2017-18.
The rich do get richer, but is there really a chance that Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman can swing a trade-deadline deal for the Sens’ captain, Erik Karlsson? Matt Larkin looks at this and other trade talk in his latest mailbag.
The Montreal Canadiens may finally have some hope on the horizon: No. 1 defenseman Shea Weber is out of his walking boot, although he’s still not scheduled to return.
Weber’s injury has had knock-on effects for frequent top-pair partner Jordie Benn, who has found himself “thrust into an ill-suited role” in Weber’s absence, writes Marc Dumont. [Montreal Gazette]
Sad news: Edmonton Oilers defender Adam Larsson has lost his father, SHL icon Robert Larsson, who died suddenly while visiting his son in Canada.
Sad, sad story. Reports out of Sweden say Robert Larsson has died while visiting his son, Adam, in Edmonton.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 2, 2018
Robert Larsson was only 50. Flags are flying at half-mast in Skelleftea. Condolences to Adam and his family: https://t.co/dKv26MraW7
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
With Big Ben taking a night off, the Texas Stars have sent goalie Landon Bow to Dallas.
The Dallas Stars have recalled goaltender Landon Bow to the NHL and the #txstars have recalled goaltender Phil Desrosiers from the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) February 3, 2018
Read: https://t.co/L1Ap8hhRPq pic.twitter.com/uTkK7VYGNH
The T-Stars joined the San Antonio Rampage for their Pink In the Rink event last night. Unfortunately, they blew a two-goal lead to take a 4-2 loss.
The @RoamingGnome is back, and Razor’s got him. Travelocity’s ceramic celebrity followed the Stars to Arizona, and you can find more photos on his Twitter feed. Enjoy.