It could be that the only thing more frustrating than a string of healthy scratches in the NHL is not sticking in the NHL at all – or at least on the regular. Over the past couple of season, Dallas Stars prospects from Gavin Bayreuther to Joel L’Esperance have become intimately familiar with the trip from Austin Metro to the Big D and back.
But does it really help? Saad Yousuf of The Athletic tracks two players who have seen their share of the Cedar Park shuttle:
Roope Hintz and Jason Dickinson are two examples of the standard process of developing NHL talent. Sure, an NHL team may find a Miro Heiskanen every now and then. But teenage phenoms aside, the AHL provides a significant stage for hockey development. More than anything, it allows young players to get on the ice and play big minutes instead of being a healthy scratch or playing a spare role at the NHL level. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” The AHL provides practice time with game intensity.
The process of going up and down, however, can be physically and emotionally grueling.
“When they get sent down, it’s a little bit harder because you have to get them dialed in and get them motivated and get them focused on playing down here,” Texas Stars head coach Derek Laxdal said. “They’re always dejected a little bit; let’s be honest, you (go) down from the NHL to the American League, you’re going to be dejected no matter what you’ve been told so we have to try and prop them up a little bit and that’s part of our job and that’s just the way it is.”
Dickinson, his time in transit behind him, can speak for the unseen advantages of staying up to get his ice time in:
“I was actually thinking the other day, I woke up and I felt good, I felt rested, I felt like I was in a good spot,” Dickinson said. “I was remembering this time last year, right around (the) trade deadline and I was just thinking how tired I was. I would wake up in the mornings and I was exhausted and nothing really changed except for being up and down all of the time, the mental exhaustion, going from one place to the next, sleeping in a different bed every night.
There’s more under the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Every team is fighting a terrible battle this time of year. It’s an obvious point, but one worth keeping in mind, as Mike Heika writes.
As of today, there is a group of four teams separated by two points fighting for the two wild-card spots.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 1, 2019
Thursday's win was a reminder that it doesn't matter who you are playing this time of year, every game is tough. https://t.co/K2eXVnQaAW
Ottawa 67s RW Tye Felhaber signed his ELC with the Stars yesterday, and his parents are as proud as can be.
Joining us late? Here’s a six-minute guide to what happened last month.
Around The League(s)
- The St. Louis Blues weren’t hot enough to beat the new hotness. The Carolina Hurricanes won at home, 5-2. [Canes Country]
- The Marcus Sorensen hat trick – two goals and 12 stitches – carried the day as the San Jose Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. [Fear The Fin]
- And in Central-on-Central violence (God Tier edition), the Winnipeg Jets overcame an early deficit and strafed the Nashville Predators 5-3. [On The Forecheck]
Here’s how a deadline deal goes right – right, Kevin Hayes?
Devils winger Kurtis Gabriel will have a hearing today for boarding Flyers centreman Nolan Patrick.https://t.co/XPbhGwhAvw— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2019
Cold comfort for Connor McDavid? Leon Draisaitl now has the empty distinction of being a near-equal waste of talent on the hapless Edmonton Oilers, writes Matt Larkin.
"I'd rather give up some of my goals to be in a playoff spot."— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) March 2, 2019
The Oilers have two superstars now, not one. That makes the wasted 2018-19 season sting even more but also provides more hope for next season. Here's @THNMattLarkin on Leon Draisaitl:https://t.co/aVjrwcBzkE pic.twitter.com/yTaMuMdqsd
Jarome Iginla was many things to many people, and he excelled at all of them. Eric Duhatschek revisits the trade that sent him from the Stars to the Calgary Flames.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Will the Stars’ most cherished prospect move to Texas sooner rather than later? Ty Dellandrea could be on his way to the Texas Stars.
Meanwhile, the T-Stars lost 2-1 in OT to the Chicago Wolves last night. Coach Laxdal gave his team credit for a hard fight in the postgame scrum.