Trading for a player is one potential solution, but Mike Heika doesn’t think that’s in the cards anytime soon:
...Jim Nill could always make a salary for salary deal if he really felt the need to change things up. But when they drew this up in the off-season, they were confident in the plan, so I think they need to stick with it... I think their plan this year is to fill their biggest need in January or February with a high dollar player who will become a UFA in the summer. So I think they are saving whatever LTIR they might have for later in the year.
In the end, the Stars’ only real option is to be patient (for now). But the team will need improvement in a lot of areas if they want to truly reach cup contender status:
They don’t possess the puck enough and establish offensive zone time, so they don’t get as many scoring chances as the opposition. That also means they don’t draw penalties, because they don’t force the opposition to defend as much. They also don’t finish very well on the chances they do get... For the skill they seem to have, this is not a very good offensive team.
You can read more from Heika’s recent Q&A here.
Miro Heiskanen is pretty darn good at hockey — Matthew DeFranks breaks down some film from the first three games:
The Stars face off against the Washington Capitals tonight, with Evegeni Kuznetsov making his season debut. This is gonna be fun...
Tuesday's game is the first of two against the Stars this week - the Caps visit Dallas on Saturday - and it will also mark the return of center Evgeny Kuznetsov. #ALLCAPS #CapsStars Preview: https://t.co/0kSFLADIMU pic.twitter.com/nif0PPEia2— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 7, 2019
Around the League
It was a quiet Monday in the NHL, with only two games on the docket:
- In a battle of Stanley Cup contenders, the St. Louis Blues prevailed 3-2 over the Toronto Maple Leafs. [Pension Plan Puppets]
- On the other side of the standings spectrum, the Blue Jackets picked up their first win of the season, beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime. [The Cannon]
OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired defenseman Nick Ebert and a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Vladislav Namestnikov.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 8, 2019
Evgeni Malkin is going to miss some time, but it’s not as bad as it could have been:
Report: Evgeni Malkin has soft tissue injury in leg...We go all anatomy class on you and give a lesson on what that means and why the Pens may have dodged a major bullet on the extent of his injury. https://t.co/8FxDOcxp77— PensBurgh (@Pensburgh) October 7, 2019
The regular season isn’t even a week old, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some Power Rankings:
New: The weekend rankings return, even though it's way too early. Top five, bottom five, and lots more. Let the debates begin. https://t.co/hCfkUvQ5M5— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) October 7, 2019
Roope Hintz gets a little more “breakout candidate” love as the ESPN crew makes their season predictions:
Bold predictions! Breakout players! Our ESPN NHL experts are here to roundtable the new season! https://t.co/dzl7dv87Za— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) October 7, 2019
Why can’t we be friends? Why can’t we be friends?
Tkachuk vs Doughty forever. https://t.co/Awqnr6W85t— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) October 8, 2019
Finally, Craig Custance gives some insight on why we hardly ever see waivers claims in the preseason: