It’s another Dallas Stars game day, and Sean Shapiro has plenty to talk about while we wait for the puck to drop. The Athletic DFW writer posted his latest mailbag in the wee small hours, and it’s dominated by questions about the team’s chronically absent offense.
Star-crossed (Stars-crossed?) winger Mats Zuccarello was a hot topic, especially with the cost of acquiring him for 13 minutes, so far:
...I do think the Stars are interested in re-signing [Zuccarello]. I also think Zuccarello would be an ideal fit for this team, as evidenced by the two periods he actually got to play for the Stars.
The biggest question is whether Zuccarello actually wants to re-sign with Dallas. At this point, I don’t have any indication of whether that’s something he’d even be interested in. Frankly, he probably won’t think about it seriously until he actually plays again....
Zuccarello actually had coffee with Vernon Fiddler and Les Jackson back in Texas on Wednesday, and he was asked if he wanted to return to New York to heal up. The Stars’ newest forward said he was dedicated to healing up and being around the team and was fully invested in playing for Dallas again this season.
What does Denis Gurianov need to do to stay up with the big team? Sean offered his opinion:
He needs to do one of two things: Either put the puck in the net or prove to the coaching staff that he can consistently apply puck pressure, fitting into the grinding mentality the Stars have come to adopt this season.
He answered some questions about Mike Modano, including the possibility that he will join the Minnesota Wild in some capacity:
First of all, his wife’s family is from is Minnesota and the two always had some interest in moving back there. It’s hard to work for the Dallas Stars when you live in Minnesota; or Arizona, his most recent home.
There’s also a question of what type of role Modano wants to play. His position with the Wild has not been confirmed. Once ... that becomes clear it will be easier to assess whether he would have even had that opportunity with the Stars.
There’s also some postseason speculation about which RFAs the Stars will qualify:
This really depends on who is making the decision on restricted free agents. Jim Nill’s history indicated he qualifies most, if not all, of his RFAs and holds on to them with the idea that they are assets that can either make the team better or be used to acquire something else.
There’s much more under the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Stars senior writer Mike Heika looks directly at the elephant in the room: Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin may have carried this team as far as they can.
Andrew Cogliano’s ironman streak is over. Thanks for nothing, Ryan Reaves.
The Cogs injury does create another opportunity for sturdy center Joel L’Esperance.
The Dallas Stars have recalled center Joel L'Esperance from the Texas Stars. https://t.co/nwYBc5LQvu— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 27, 2019
Meanwhile, Bish dropped in on Tyler Seguin’s radio show to tell a funny story.
Matthew DeFranks of The Dallas Morning News has put together a really cool feature with Taylor Fedun.
Last week, I sat down with Taylor Fedun for 45 minutes to review every single one of his shifts against St. Louis.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) February 27, 2019
He went in-depth about his decision-making process, his positioning on the ice and how Roope Hintz is "the fastest human alive." https://t.co/m0hmPUfsxr pic.twitter.com/wBrBp50SmZ
And Mark Stepneski just rips the bandage off:
Colorado beat Vancouver tonight, knocking the Stars out of a playoff spot.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 28, 2019
This is the first time the Stars have been out of a playoff spot since they went into the NHL’s Christmas break in ninth place in the West.
Around The League(s)
- As Stepneski noted, the Stars slid out of a playoff spot as the Colorado Avalanche earned their first shootout win of the season over the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2. [Mile High Hockey]
- Corey Crawford returned from a concussion to make 29 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks bested the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. [Second City Hockey]
From hero to heel in front of his former home team? Tavares has company there, including Jaromir Jagr and Zach Parise.
John Tavares has gone from fan favorite to super-villain in New York, but he's not the first player to make the transformation. These five players know all about heated homecomings, writes @THNJaredClintonhttps://t.co/J0BInJv03N— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 27, 2019
Last night’s game between the Leafs and the Edmonton Oilers encapsulates how far one has come, and how far the other needs to go, writes Daniel Nugent-Bowman.
The day began with so much positivity for the Oilers. And then they played the Leafs.— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) February 28, 2019
My story from Toronto about how far the Oilers are from being in the stratosphere as the Leafs.https://t.co/SaiJxnaMGd
One of the Oilers’ star forwards – and many, many high draft picks – Leon Draisaitl pretty much sums it up.
Just asked Leon Draisaitl how he feels about being second in the NHL with 39 goals.— Matt Larkin (@THNMattLarkin) February 28, 2019
His response: “I’d trade some of those goals to make the playoffs.”
The Ottawa Senators’ biggest offseason move – to a new venue downtown – has hit a snag, or maybe an iceberg.
Ottawa Senators' downtown arena plan in trouble after mediation fails— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) February 27, 2019
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Idaho Steelheads call-up Brad McClure came up big for the team with his two tallies.