The Dallas Stars just can’t quit Jamie Oleksiak. With Marc Methot officially out for the season, GM Jim Nill pulled the trigger on a tradeback of a fourth-round pick to bring the Big Rig back from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The 6-7 first-rounder has seen glory (the 2014 Calder Cup) and struggle (fighting for NHL ice time) with the Stars organization. Nill believes his time in the Metropolitan Division has refined his skills, writes Mark Stepneski:
“We’ve been watching him closely, and he’s a more mature, well-rounded player,” Nill said. “He’s more calm in situations, his defensive reads, not as many highs and as many lows. There’s real consistency.”...
“He went to another team -- sometimes that has to happen -- and he’s become a better player,” Nill said. “Pittsburgh is a very good team, and that rubs off on you. But he’s become a better player, and you have to give him credit.”
The 2019 NHL trade deadline is nearly a month away. But the Stars’ front office looked at their situation without Methot and Stephen Johns (still on IR due to post-traumatic headaches) and went for the comfort of familiarity – which somehow includes carrying eight blueliners again:
“I don’t know where the trade market is going to go,” Nill said. “All of a sudden one or two guys sign with their teams or one or two guys get traded, and I don’t know what else is going to be out there. This was a chance for us to get ahead of the curve a little. Pittsburgh was in a situation where they had nine defensemen. Something was going to happen for them and it just kind of worked in our favor.”
Mark has more – including this Twitter poll on the tradeback. [Stars Inside Edge]
Poll: What do you think of the Dallas Stars trading for Jamie Oleksiak?— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) January 28, 2019
As the Victory Green gang returned to a “hard” Monday practice, they looked ahead to the the season’s final stretch.
It's now a 33-game sprint to the finish line and Monty sees this stretch being more intense, with each game being more important than the previous one. pic.twitter.com/H6a6RE7mrH— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 28, 2019
The Stars’ playoff chances – and Jason Spezza’s expiring contract – are among the potential headlines as the trade deadline approaches.
The next four weeks will be among the most newsy in this NHL season. Here is a primer for what to watch and wait for: https://t.co/pWbVBO4j02— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) January 28, 2019
Around The League(s)
The Finnish Mafia has arrived. Miro Heiskanen is part of a new generation of Suomi All-Stars that could shake up the league for years to come, writes Pete Jensen.
Here it is, straight from the source:
Statement about Artemi Panarin’s future “We have informed the team that we are willing to discuss Artemi’s future after the season. Our priority now is to focus on the rest of the season, trying to win a Stanley Cup for the CBJ & their fans”. No additional comments will be made..— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) January 28, 2019
Matt Larkin spins out the second-half storylines, featuring Matt Duchene, Sergei Bobrovsky, and more.
Jack Hughes is still consensus No. 1 overall in the latest 2019 NHL Draft mocks. Get to know him a little better.
If you’re a hockey fan, you’ve probably heard of Jack Hughes.@JHallNBCS talked with the dynamic center and his coach to get more insight into the presumptive No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. https://t.co/hQOZIdh6tm— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 28, 2019
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Denis Gurianov and Joel L’Esperance did the Texas Stars proud in the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic.
This became a theme for the evening, as a cursory look at Tom Dorsa’s Twitter feed will demonstrate:
The #txstars teammates find each other again, as L’Esperance sends a pass to Gurianov for the chip-in goal.— Tom Dorsa (@bytomdorsa) January 29, 2019
Gurianov has two goals and two assists, L’Esperance has a goal and an assist tonight. pic.twitter.com/vrPGzhnTBm
I’ll just leave this here. Enjoy.
To anyone who doesn't think women in hockey matter:— Matt Larkin (@THNMattLarkin) January 28, 2019
Our two MOST-READ stories on our website this week were about Kendall Coyne Schofield and Brianna Decker.
In the current issue of The Hockey News magazine, check out stories on @MeghanChayka, @hannahbrandt16 and @veebach21!