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Dallas Stars Daily Links: A Closer Look At The Joel L’Esperance Call-Up

Can the AHL-leading “beast” bring his scoring game to the big club? Plus, examining the Talbot-Stolarz trade, keeping an eye on Michael Ferland, and more.

The Dallas Stars are looking for more scoring – so they’re turning to the AHL’s current goal leader. Center Joel L’Esperance has racked up 27 tallies in 49 games and ranks second among rookies with 42 points total – an .857 PPG pace.

But can the undrafted Michigan Tech product play his high-scoring game in his first call-up to the big league? Mark Stepneski takes a closer look:

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound L’Esperance, who is a Michigan native, has a nice mix of size, skill, and smarts. He’s a well-rounded player, brings a physical element and plays well on both sides of the puck. Is he going to be an NHL scorer? Hard to say. Goal scoring in the AHL doesn’t always translate to the NHL. But he’s got all the tools be an NHL player. Texas coach Derek Laxdal has compared L’Esperance to veteran NHL forward Jay Beagle, but with more of an offensive upside.

Back in early December, Dallas Stars brass attended a game between Texas and Milwaukee in Cedar Park, and L’Esperance scored twice on a game-high six shots on goal. Laxdal, in his postgame chat with the media, was asked what L’Esperance had meant to the team this season.

”He’s a horse. He’s a beast,” Laxdal said. “He’s a big, heavy centerman that seems to be getting better and better every game. He’s just growing as a player. You saw him ... playing a hard, heavy game and scoring off a rush on a breakaway, showing some great speed at the end of a shift.”

Mark has more. [Stars Inside Edge]

Stars Stuff

Anton Khudobin had an uncharacteristically bad night in Tampa Bay, but his helmet was amazing. Look at this.

Speaking of looks, here’s a closer one at the blocked shot that’s keeping John Klingberg out of the lineup tonight. The Stars play the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. Central time.

Fidds fans, this Monday is for you. Vernon Fiddler will be shaking hands and signing autographs at Rally House Frisco.

Around The League(s)

It was another quiet night for #Death, but at least the Minnesota Wild played – and lost 5-4 to the New Jersey Devils in overtime. [All About The Jersey]

Netminder Cory Schneider has to be especially pleased: He broke a 21-game winless streak last night.

The TDL scene is starting to heat up, and Canes forward Michael Ferland is turning up in several trade scenarios.

The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired goalie Cam Talbot from the Edmonton Oilers, trading back Anthony Stolarz. Talbot will be the eighth G to play for the Flyers this season.

Micah Blake McCurdy has already gotten to work on finding out who won the trade....

Love your Russian hockey stars? Check out the new Hockey Night in Canada podcast.

Did you know that the Stars are the only NHL team that hasn’t given up a shorthanded goal at 5-on-4 this season? Everybody has something – literally, as Sam McCaig has discovered.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

The Texas Stars got a big win last night as they shut out the Tucson Roadrunners.

Philippe Desrosiers is back in town and looking good in goal.


Gabriel Landeskog preserves a Colorado Avalanche tradition as Dominic Toninato scores his first NHL goal. Enjoy.