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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Radek Faksa’s Breakthrough

Is the Stars’ center a potential dark horse candidate for the Selke Trophy next season? Plus, jersey announcements for the newcomers, NHL contract talk, and much more.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

While the Dallas Stars had a disappointing season last year under Ken Hitchcock, there are silver linings to be found, such as the breakout campaign by Radek Faksa. Although his time on ice actually decreased from 16:10 the previous season to 15:16, it was clear that the head coach relied heavily on the young Czech:

To put things mildly, Faksa was used in a heavy defensive role these past two seasons, but that went to an extreme during Ken Hitchcock’s lone season (version 2.0) with Dallas. Faksa began a whopping 66.6 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone, up from an already hearty 59.3 percent the previous year. The 24-year-old also topped all Stars forwards by averaging 1:59 in penalty kill time per game.

As a result, Faksa ended up seventh in voting for the Selke Trophy, given annually to the league’s best defensive forward, including two first-place votes. But Faksa likely won’t win the award until he produces more on offense as well, which requires a vote of confidence from his coaching staff:

The Stars should absolutely experiment with different ways to get Faksa on the ice more often, ideally rewarding him for doing all of that dirty work by giving him better chances to score. While Faksa would probably struggle to land on Dallas’ top power play unit, it’s probably not outrageous to give him more than last season’s paltry average of 14 seconds of PP time per game.

You can read more in James O’Brien’s piece, which includes a shout-out to our own Derek Neumeier, here.

More from NBC Sports and their preview of the Stars — here are three questions facing the team this season, as well as a look at Tyler Seguin’s contract situation.

Stars Stories

I don’t know about you, but this isn’t the sort of company I would like to keep:

Time for a debate in the comments section? In a ranking of the Stars’ top five prospects, Jake Oettinger makes the list while Colton Point doesn’t. [NHL]

The Stars now have a second video coach, rounding out the new staff:

I know the offseason is typically boring and slow, but it’s also cool to catch up with players during their time off:

Here’s a great read on how Michael Gruber has transcended from being a simple “sound guy” into local sports icon. [Blackout Dallas]

Regardless of your opinion on rap music, it is pretty cool to see a big celebrity donning Victory Green:

Around the League

The Arizona Coyotes turned heads this weekend, as they signed Christian Dvorak to a six-year, $4.45 million AAV contract extension. [Five For Howling]

But even if you don’t know much about Dvorak, it truly isn’t a puzzling contract, especially compared to some others...

More contract talk! Here are five big name players who signed a one-year deal, but might be eyeing an extension around the new year: [The Hockey News]

Man, I should have stuck with my gut...

Upset about where John Klingberg landed? Down Goes Brown stresses that while making lists like these are harder than they look, it’s okay to be upset about them: [Vice Sports]

Heartbreak of the weekend hands down goes to Team USA, who lost to Canada 6-5 in overtime at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup after a controversial call:

Here’s a quick, light-hearted read to cheer USA fans up — 31 unrealistic predictions for each NHL team, as well as a dose of reality. [The Hockey News]


Comments section, I need your help. Wait until Christmas, or go ahead and order a No. 4 jersey?