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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Before The Winter Classic, Happy Memories Of Outdoor Hockey

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The Stars recount days playing hockey outside, even when there wasn’t any ice. Plus, Miro Our Hero, one more #Kill before the All-Star break, and more.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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]


Stars Stuff

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.

Yeah, they’re bored, too.

Around The League(s)

#Death Never Sleeps

Segs is taking All-Star weekend off, but he makes NHL.com’s fantasy team anyway.

Remember the Guardian Project? Well, Greg Wyshynski is here to bury Stan Lee, not to praise him.

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.

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.

Cameron Gaunce was a member of the T-Stars’ 2014 Calder Cup team. The stolen rings are from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2017 Stanley Cup win. Spread the word. [Toronto Star]

Finally

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.