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Dallas Stars Daily Links: What the World Championships Can Do For Five Stars

A handful of Stars will take the ice as the IIHF tournament begins. Plus, two more Stanley Cup series are tied up, and Jason Robertson joins up.

Canada v Sweden: 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship - Day Six
This is not John Klingberg’s first time at the rodeo, as you will remember.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The 2018 IIHF World Championships kick off today in Denmark, and five Dallas Stars will represent three national teams this year.

Blueliner John Klingberg and forward Mattias Janmark will play for Sweden, who begin play today at 8:15 p.m. Central European Summer Time (1:15 p.m. CDT) in a match with Belarus. Center Radek Faksa and the Czech Republic start their tournament on Saturday night against Slovakia, while D-man Julius Honka will play for Finland against Korea earlier in the day. (Defensive ultra-prospect Miro Heiskanen was not on the official Finnish roster yesterday, but only because of illness. He’s expected to play as soon as he recovers.)

Each of these Stars is likely to compete on the top line or pair for their national teams. That kind of experience is worth plenty, says GM Jim Nill:

“It’s an opportunity for them to continue to grow their games,” said [Nill]. “You are playing at a high level. When you don’t make the playoffs, this is the next best thing to it. It’s high pressure, and they are going to be go-to guys on the team.”

If and when Heiskanen gets ice time, the Worlds will mark his third international tournament appearance of the season. The incipient superstar competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics and World Junior Championships; he also helped lead HIFK to the bronze medal in the Finnish Liiga postseason tournament.

“It just adds to his resume,” said Nill. “He’s still 18 years old. You are looking at World Juniors, Olympics, World Championship and his team (in the Finnish League) went a long way in the playoffs. It’s going to harden him, put him in intense situations. And it’s not like he is a bit part. He’s playing high-end minutes and in key situations. As he comes across the ocean next year, it is just going to help him build on his foundation even more.”

Mark Stepneski has much more at the Stars’ official site. [Stars Inside Edge]


More Stars

Joining us early? You may still have time to find a live feed of what will certainly be the announcement of the Stars’ next head coach.

Sean also examines how Jim Montgomery’s coaching style could impact high-end defensive players Honka and Heiskanen, and others like them.

All your J’s are belong to us: Kingston Frontenacs RW and 2017 second-round pick Jason Robertson signed a three-year ELC yesterday. [Dallas Stars]

If you’re in the North Texas area tomorrow, you might want to check out the new and used pro-stock equipment sale at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco.

Around the League(s): Second Round Edition

Jake Guentzel scored twice and Evgeni Malkin netted a power-play GWG as the Pittsburgh Penguins evened the series with the Washington Capitals, 3-1.

That Malkin game-winner was the subject of a lengthy review, but Ian Oland of Caps fansite Russian Machine Never Breaks has the GIF that shows it was good.

In #MDK action, Pekka Rinne stopped 32 of 33 shots to lead the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets, and to tie up the series 2-2.

Here’s the save everyone is talking about today:

If you thought Tom Wilson’s three-game suspension was perhaps a bit excessive, come sit next to T.J. Oshie, because you guys would really get along.

Olympic gold medalist and NCAA hockey legend AJ Mleczko is making history as an NHL postseason commentator – but she hopes viewers don’t think of it that way.

And in more sobering news, TSN reports that former NHL’er Jeff Parker had Stage 3 CTE when he died last year at age 53. It’s yet another reminder that the league’s concussion issues have far-reaching and often tragic consequences.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

In tonight’s Calder Cup action, the Texas Stars are playing the Tucson Roadrunners in Arizona – but you can still see the game in Austin Metro at the official watch party.

The Boise Bandwagon

Alas, the Idaho Steelheads didn’t have a four-game answer this time. Their Kelly Cup run ended in a sweep by the Colorado Eagles in the Mountain Division Finals.

Finally

Yesterday marked the end of an era in Dallas sports as Jason Witten officially announced his retirement from the Dallas Cowboys. @DallasStars got in on the action, and so did the Dallas skyline. Enjoy.