As the Dallas Stars continue their march toward (hopefully) a playoff spot, Roope Hintz has been a singular bright spot that looks more and more like the birth of a star. As fans and followers debate the need for a big signing or trade during the offseason, is it worth considering that the team may already have an answer for its top six?
Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika recalls a time when the Stars used to give their prospects that shot, and how it has paid off in the past:
Remember when Mike Modano needed a steady linemate and 24-year-old Jere Lehtinen got the gig? Or how about when 22-year-old Jamie Langnbrunner was given a chance to form chemistry with Joe Nieuwendyk? Heck, remember that year Lehtinen was hurt and star-struck rookie Brenden Morrow was called up to play next to his hero, Brett Hull?...
The Stars still had veteran forwards like Modano, Lehtinen, Morrow, Richards, Mike Ribeiro and Steve Ott -- but they weren’t afraid of trusting the kids. It was a great rotation, really, where skill taught skill and strong two-way play was still at the center of their identity.
Is it possible that giving prospects consistent NHL ice time...helps them learn to play an NHL game? Radical concept, but let’s let Mike finish his thought:
...[A]s we try to spend the awaiting cap space that could greet this team in the summer, maybe a little patience is needed. Maybe Roope Hintz could be a top-six winger or center. Maybe Jason Dickinson would flourish with more ice time. Maybe they don’t need to have 14 forwards under contract heading into camp and could allow some kids to fight it out and bounce back and forth between the NHL and the AHL....
”The plays he’s making tonight, that’s big league; that’s borderline superstar play,” said goalie Ben Bishop. “He’s got elite speed, he’s got a great shot, I think the more he learns the game, he’s just going to get that much better. The future is going to be really bright for him.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Speaking of the future, count on hearing from Jason Robertson. Sean Shapiro catches up with arguably the Stars’ best prospect.
'I just like hockey and I can't get enough of it.' Stars' Jason Robertson takes aim at NHL future https://t.co/MKUu3ZA2Nc— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) March 14, 2019
Even the @NHL gotta recognize Ben Bishop. #BishPlease
Around The League(s)
- It was pretty quiet in the #MDK last night, but the Chicago Blackhawks kept their wild-card hopes alive by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4. [Second City Hockey]
Evgeni Malkin has scored his 1,000th NHL point, and his teammates have stories. So many stories.
What are the best Evgeni Malkin stories now that he has joined the NHL's 1,000-point club? Sidney Crosby and others share their favorites: https://t.co/Jc6Fi5SHYm— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) March 13, 2019
By the way, Hintz is heating up the NHL’s fantasy wire, too.
#FantasyHockey tracker— Pete Jensen (@NHLJensen) March 13, 2019
-Hughes could make NHL debut for #Canucks
-#LeafsForever Nylander elevated with Kapanen out
-#Blackhawks Perlini, #GoStars Hintz on strong lines
-Goalie updates: #LetsGoFlyers Hart, #Isles Lehner
More @FanDuel #DFS notes: https://t.co/m6HQGfgi6l
The Vancouver Canucks can’t catch a break with a net. Send your love (and a complete recovery) to Antoine Roussel in particular.
Antoine Roussel is done for the year with a knee injury. Ashton Sautner will be re-evaluated. Quinn Hughes has a bone bruise and will be in a walking boot for a week. #Canucks— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) March 14, 2019
Here’s the play on which Rous took his season-ending injury:
Tyler Motte beats Lundqvist again right away for his 2nd of the game to make it a 3-0 #Canucks lead.— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) March 14, 2019
On the play, Antoine Roussel takes a hit to the head from Brendan Lemieux. Roussel went to the Canucks room while Lemieux was given a 5 minute penalty and a game misconduct. pic.twitter.com/qfy9ggQWVU
Ryan O’Reilly – and his mom – have arranged a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a First Nation team that endured a “disgusting” crowd display at a bantam tournament last year.
A youth hockey team that faced racism in a tournament last May is coming to Ottawa courtesy of Ryan O'Reilly, who wants to give them a message:— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) March 13, 2019
"Keep enjoying and playing the game. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't." https://t.co/1WBGBFAG2I #HockeyIsForEveryone #stlblues
Don’t look now, but EA Sports’ “Young Guns” team seems to be missing a pistol.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Joel Hanley’s bank-shot goal in Canada was amazing enough to make BarDown. Enjoy.