The Dallas Stars are on All-Star break, and it’s a little too quiet around here. So it’s not too early to look ahead to next year’s Winter Classic.
Players like John Klingberg and Minnesota native Tyler Pitlick can recount spending all day on frozen ponds, writes Mark Stepneski. But even Stars from the so-called Great White North remember outdoor games as being more classic than wintry, which is probably as good a sign for Dallas as any:
“My dad used to build a rink in our backyard,” said Stars center Tyler Seguin. “It was more the difficulty of keeping the ice going than all the memories of being out there, but it was always a lot of fun, and that is where hockey started -- out on a pond or ice outdoors.”...
“We didn’t have snowstorms or outdoor ponds in Victoria, it was a lot of road hockey,” said Stars captain Jamie Benn. “Countless memories of playing outside with my brother and my buddies. It was tough for my parents to get us inside and get our homework done.”
And the veterans of professional outdoor games seem to agree that it’s an experience you won’t soon forget, for whatever reason:
“I played an outdoor game (in the AHL) in Sacramento, California. That’s about as weird as it gets,” Pitlick said. “Got a rain delay. It was crazy. [Dallas] should be good. Hopefully, we don’t get any rain here next year.”
[Roman] Polak played in two outdoor games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 2017 Centennial Classic against Detroit at BMO Field in Toronto and a Stadium Series game last March against Washington at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
”It’s a great experience. The place is buzzing. Great feeling,” Polak said. “It’s way different. Too much going on. Totally different game. It’s a different experience. The crowd, the sun, the wind. Sometimes it is raining; sometimes it is snowing.
”As a player, you have to prepare a different way. You have to focus and not get distracted too much. But when you are done with it, you are like ‘This is unbelievable.’ “
Mark has more. [Stars Inside Edge]
At least Stars fans will get their Miro Heiskanen fix soon, as the dazzling rookie heads for his first NHL All-Star Weekend.
Speaking of our local hero, he’s making his way further into the 2019 Calder Trophy reckoning.
Nikita Kucherov (Hart), Mark Giordano (Norris), Patrice Bergeron (Selke), Elias Pettersson (Calder) and John Gibson (Vezina) are among the NHL's Midseason Awards winners, as voted by @ThePHWA. Full list here: https://t.co/gNYAxfaAdF pic.twitter.com/iOlGLgosIQ— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 24, 2019
Yeah, they’re bored, too.
Waiting for Stars hockey to return like... pic.twitter.com/KSnNURHK1G— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 22, 2019
Around The League(s)
#Death Never Sleeps
- Can you believe some teams are just starting their All-Star break? Last night in the #MDK, the Minnesota Wild got a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Ryan Johansen scored in his return from suspension as the Nashville Predators beat the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1. [On The Forecheck]
- And the St. Louis Blues got rolling in a 5-1 blowout of the Anaheim Ducks. [St. Louis Game Time]
Segs is taking All-Star weekend off, but he makes NHL.com’s fantasy team anyway.
You know who's heading to the 2019 @Honda #NHLAllStar Game, but which players would make the #FantasyHockey #NHLAllStar lineup?— NHL (@NHL) January 23, 2019
The @NHLFantasy guys have you covered. (Presented by @FanDuel) https://t.co/bhq2SaivqF
Remember the Guardian Project? Well, Greg Wyshynski is here to bury Stan Lee, not to praise him.
Think about this when you watch the player tracking tech this weekend, and remember what truly horrific NHL ideas look like. https://t.co/Kajl01m2cv— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) January 23, 2019
Mitchell Marner > Auston Matthews? He’s more Canadian at any rate, so Ken Campbell just went there.
Is Pavel Datsyuk on his way back to the NHL? At age 40, the future Hall-of-Famer might still be an upgrade for the Detroit Red Wings once his KHL contract expires.
Pavel Datsyuk's agent said the former Red Wings star isn't done playing hockey, and could return to the NHL. https://t.co/l1r9j4spSh— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) January 23, 2019
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
It’s been a tale of two teams as the Texas Stars lose five in a row, yet still cling to a playoff spot. Stephen Meserve examines the case.
Still, congratulations are in order for Joel L’Esperance, who will join Denis Gurianov at the AHL All-Star Classic.
1/2 Last night, my brother and sister in laws Stanley Cup rings were stolen. They were being kept in a safe, yet that didn’t stop the culprits from taking the entire safe out of the house. They are clearly recognizable objects, so if anyone has any knowledge or see’s any info... pic.twitter.com/KLoTFPMWC2— Brendan Gaunce (@BrendanGaunce16) January 22, 2019
Boston just got a Red Bull Crashed Ice event, and Olympic gold medalist Hilary Knight – who helped win an Isobel Cup for the Boston Pride – is here to cheer about it. Enjoy.