For the first time in history, it’s NHL Draft week in Dallas! The league (and the fans) converge on Victory Plaza on Friday and Saturday, June 22-23. Which players do you covet? Which storylines are you watching? There’s plenty to discuss this week, so here are a few appetizers to get you started.
Will Liam Kirk make history in Dallas? He could become the first player born and trained in England to be drafted by the NHL.
Who will make the top 10 overall? Your guess may be as good as anyone’s.
Update #NHLDraft Top-10:— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) June 16, 2018
Is small the new big? NHL.com’s Mike Morreale says more compact and mobile defensemen will get all the best buzz.
Your hosts, the Dallas Stars, have put together a teaser trailer featuring some of your favorite players as impossibly young junior-leaguers.
And here’s your handy reference for keeping track of the Dallas picks, courtesy of Mark Stepneski:
Here are the Dallas Stars picks in next week’s NHL Draft:— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) June 15, 2018
1st round (13th overall)
2nd round (44th overall)
3rd round (75th overall)
4th round (100th overall)*
4th round (106th overall)
5th round (137th overall)
6th round (168th overall)
7th round (199th overall)
Kari Lehtonen says he wants his family to be ready “for whatever the next phase in our lives is going to be.” Now the Lehtonens’ Preston Hollow home is up for sale. Does this mean free agency – or that, at 35, Kari plans to retire in Dallas and build a new home here?
Kari Lehtonen on the move? You can now buy his $4.25 million Preston Hollow homehttps://t.co/heEWnaRlTw— SportsDayDFW (@SportsDayDFW) June 15, 2018
Can we stop speculating about a Jason Spezza buyout? Chris Johnston seems to think so.
The NHL’s first buyout window is now open. There’s been speculation Jason Spezza is a candidate for one, but the Dallas Stars will keep the 35-year-old centre and have him play out the final year of his contract.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 15, 2018
Get to know Gemel Smith and his brother, Detroit Red Wings prospect Givani Smith, in the Stars’ latest “Back Home” video.
And if you’re not yet excited enough about Sean Shapiro’s new Stars book, perhaps this image will help.
Around the League(s)
The 2018-19 regular-season schedules are coming out on Wednesday, June 20, and I’ll just leave this here.
The NHL will announce the 2018-19 regular-season home openers for all 31 clubs on Wed., June 20 at 1 p.m. ET.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 14, 2018
The complete regular-season schedule will be revealed live on @NHLNetwork and streamed on https://t.co/9BUJgfxUcy on Thur., June 21 at 5 p.m. ET. pic.twitter.com/V1RuUA9BH9
The NHL making the schedule reveal a two-day event right before the draft is….just very the NHL.— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) June 14, 2018
Outside of the upcoming draft, the biggest NHL story this month may be the John Tavares Free Agency Watch. Can new GM Lou Lamoriello hang on to the New York Islanders’ franchise center and undisputed leader? Dan Saraceni of Lighthouse Hockey has turned this saga into a sort of graphic novel of HSOs. It’s pretty cool.
These fans would like tell you all about it.
Like what you like, but the stats are a little, uhhh, lopsided.
Max Domi: 36 goals in 222 career #NHL games.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 16, 2018
Alex Galchenyuk: 30 goals in 2015-16 season.
In other news, Habs GM Marc Bergevin still has a job.
Marc Bergevin mentioned the word "intangibles" several times in explaining why he thinks the Canadiens are a better team with Max Domi as opposed to Alex Galchenyuk.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) June 16, 2018
Marc Bergevin GMs like how I play the Sims after I get bored of trying to be good— Namita (@nnstats) June 16, 2018
Sheldon Keefe is a hot commodity after the Toronto Marlies’ big Calder Cup win. How long will it take for an NHL team to come calling?
Sean Shapiro offers his own take, including some speculation on Derek Laxdal’s next challenge.
For Derek Laxdal and Sheldon Keefe, Calder Cup final could lead directly to the NHL https://t.co/3eWCOG7OvN— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) June 15, 2018
As if the Ottawa Senators didn’t have enough trouble, assistant GM Randy Lee has been suspended for his shocking conduct during the recent NHL Scouting Combine.
ICYMI: The Senators have suspended Randy Lee, the assistant GM facing a harassment charge from an incident during the combine https://t.co/ojIpECgPCm— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) June 17, 2018
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Mike McKenna, one of the biggest heroes of the T-Stars’ postseason, shared this heartfelt message on Twitter.
Thank you . I've spent the past hour racking my brain trying to write something poignant and self-deprecating but the right words fail me. We are so grateful for this season. Our @TexasStars team gave it our all and I am so proud to have been a part of it.#HitTheGas pic.twitter.com/7D9kRRQW5v— Mike McKenna (@MikeMcKenna56) June 16, 2018
And Ringo the Ringtail bids a wrenching farewell to his playoff beard.
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads. You’ve earned a treat, but you’re getting Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall telling dad jokes. Enjoy. [NHLPA]