OK, it’s happening, everybody stay calm. To start the week in which all-time great Sergei Zubov finally joins the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Dallas Stars finally reveal a video they made in September – the one in which they reveal that his No. 56 will rise to the rafters next season.
Zubov is predictably matter-of-fact about the honors coming his way, so it’s easy to believe he’s exactly as happy about them as he says he is in Sean Shapiro’s new Q&A:
What other reactions could there be? It was emotional and a great honor, and it’s been a long journey and it’s been lots of fun and joy to play for the Dallas Stars for so many years. It’s such a great feeling, and I’m proud. I’m so proud of this franchise and being part of it....
Honestly, at the end of my career back in ’09 in the NHL, there were some talks and rumors. You hear the news and rumors and stuff, and I thought about it for a while but then kind of let it go. It was a big surprise, actually. Such a great feeling.
It should come as no surprise that a player as cerebral as Zubov would recognize game in Miro Heiskanen:
I watched him before (this trip) and even last season when I was coaching in Sochi. You watch some games, and you watch some guys, and it was just part of my job, but his skating and the hockey sense, this young gentleman is just on a different level. Honesty, I just wish he’s going to continue the way he’s playing now and just get better every day.
Shapiro wrote the Zubov installment in The Athletic’s series on Dallas’ greatest sports heroes. Memorably, he called Zubie the Pecos Bill of Dallas sports: a larger-than-life figure about whom every tale seems taller than the last. So maybe it’s no surprise that Zubov himself denies, denies, all those stories about lighting up in the locker room:
I didn’t do it in the locker room. They are lying. Outside the locker room, yes. But not inside the room. It’s a bad habit, honestly, and we really shouldn’t even talk about it to begin with. And actually I did smoke for a long time, but I quit. I quit a year ago. I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore. That’s the good part of my story now.
There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Shapiro has even more on Zubov’s return to Dallas, as well as the Stars’ broken winning streak, in the latest Shap Shots.
And Mike Heika offers his own reflections on what Zubie has meant to the Stars.
Around The League(s)
It was a very quiet Veterans Day in #MurderDeathKill, so let’s get directly to the other headlines:
Three games for Nick Foligno seems like a good call, but is it out of line with what NHL Player Safety has allowed in other cases this season?
Columbus’ Nick Foligno has been suspended for three games for Elbowing Colorado’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. https://t.co/hvxyOshaXf— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) November 11, 2019
The Arizona Coyotes are starting to see the results of John Chayka’s long-term vision, so it’s not too surprising that they want to keep him around for a while.
The Arizona Coyotes have signed general manager John Chayka to a long-term contract extensionhttps://t.co/8suaEVGrXT— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) November 11, 2019
The World Junior Championships will be here before you know it. Steven Ellis has done some advance scouting.
The recent international break gave us a closer look as to what the 10 #WJC2020 rosters will look like. @StevenEllisTHN took a look at a player to watch on each team with the tournament set for next month.https://t.co/3sE3A2Tt64— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) November 12, 2019
The Don Cherry controversy has engulfed social media. The Globe and Mail has posted what may serve as a final word.
This Cathal Kelly column - written in almost no time flat - is an extraordinarily insightful piece about Don Cherry and the changing face of Canada that finally did him in: https://t.co/qxFKm7Ow3S— Simon Houpt (@simonhoupt) November 12, 2019
Arpon Basu, a Canadian hockey writer of Indian extraction, addresses the open secret that Cherry wasn’t really talking about poppies, or veterans.
I was asked to write about Don Cherry. I reluctantly did so because, unfortunately, I am somewhat uniquely qualified. And that’s part of the problem. https://t.co/KQRMLjZG6U— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) November 12, 2019