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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Prospects, Vets And Spezza – The Heika Chat Returns

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Mike weighs in on everything from UFA contracts to Heiskanen’s ascendancy. Plus, the Texas Stars drop Game 4, and viewers pop the Stanley Cup ratings.

Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Mike Heika works for the Dallas Stars now, but he still loves his weekly hockey chats. The former Dallas Morning News sports writer returned to the field yesterday with an even more inclusive format – and plenty of questions from Stars fans.

Heika now uses Twitter (and the #HeyHeika tag) to round up his conversation starters. Let’s start where he did, with a good look at Jason Spezza’s situation this offseason:

The Spezza question is a delicate one. He is motivated, new coach Jim Montgomery likes him, and there is the thought he can be sheltered at even strength and given top power play time to get the most out of him. However, there is the chance that Spezza does not bounce back. Combine that thought with the fact Martin Hanzal might be only sorta healthy and you have two of your main centers who are question marks. Can you go into next season with that hanging over your head?

He also weighed in on The Miro Heiskanen Question (thanks, DBD Wes, for picking up DBD Tyler’s other job while he’s out of town):

I was blown away when he was named the best defenseman in the Finnish Elite League while playing in just 30 games. That tells you what his potential is. Still, the NHL is a tough league, and there will be the need for a transition period. Everyone is going to have to be calm during his rookie season, but it sure seems like the coach and the organization will give him a real opportunity to be successful in the NHL this upcoming season.

There’s always more at Mike’s place. Like you wondered. [Dallas Stars]

More Stars

Need more Valeri Nichushkin in your day? Sean Shapiro reports via Val’s agent that “Dallas wants him back and we are just very hopeful we’ll be able to take care of this very soon.”

It’s mailbag day for Sean, too – look for your mandatory Radek Faksa and Roope Hintz content here. (Questions will be asked! And then destroyed! By answers!)

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

The Texas Stars were looking for a Western Conference Finals sweep, but a power play in overtime let the Rockford IceHogs keep the series alive, 3-2. They’ll play Game 5 tonight at 7 p.m. in H-E-B Center BMO Harris Bank Center. You can join fellow Stars fans for a free Austin Metro watch party in H-E-B Center.

All that overtime adds up:

Around the League(s)

The 2018 Stanley Cup Final begin on Memorial Day Monday, May 28. Embrace the downtime with’s roundup of stories to watch as the Vegas Golden Knights meet the Washington Capitals.

Yes, that’s right: no hockey until Monday. NHL on NBC knows how you feel.

Meanwhile, a “devastated” Steven Stamkos contemplates the sudden, fateful scoring drought that dashed the dreams of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In a Stanley Cup race defined by out-of-body netminding, Marc-Andre Fleury has ruled the narrative. The Sportsnet panel says the Conn Smythe Trophy case is heating up for the face of the Vegas franchise.

Is this your argument for better media coverage of nontraditional NHL markets? With the Usual Suspects out of the 2018 Conference Finals, the broadcast ratings have soared.

Elliotte Friedman brings news from yesterday’s NHL Competition Committee meeting:

On their latest Prospect Podcast, Matt Larkin and Ryan Kennedy discuss – among other things – whether the NHL Entry Draft could benefit from aging up.


Greg Wyshynski is an imp, but former NHL’er (and current Team Slovakia GM) Miroslav Šatan is an actual devil. Enjoy.