The 2018-19 season was a pretty remarkable time to cover the Dallas Stars. It was probably even more so for a hockey neophyte like Saad Yousuf, who joined the beat just in time to get an up-close view of the triumphs, the controversies, and the perennial fascination of the game itself.
Yousuf compiles some of his most lingering impressions in his own season recap, and it’s fun reading. For example, the miracle of open practice can still get to a Stars observer, and it seems an otherwise experienced professional writer is no exception:
All season long, the Stars’ Frisco practices are wide open, both to the media and fans. After primarily covering the Cowboys and Mavericks for so long, where you really just see stretch lines and loose shooting competitions respectively, I was shocked. We just get to see Montgomery coach up his players and observe the different areas of the game they’re working on? We all just get to see what kind of lineups are being juggled and how they work together? You mean, that stuff isn’t top-secret, classified information? That level of transparency seemed normal to the veteran reporters and die-hard fans, but it was a surprise to me.
And learning the ropes of covering hockey can make a seasoned pro a fan:
Every sport is unique and beautiful. As a general assignment writer covering all of them — many times multiple sports in any given day — it’s been quite the experience, and I love them all. But down here in the South, we all grow up exposed to basketball, baseball and of course, football. I covered all of those at length for so long coming up in this industry, but hockey slips under many radars. That’s a shame, because it’s an incomparable sport.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
It’s the offseason. Here is a video of Jamie Benn’s car.
And here’s another: the 2018-19 season in two minutes.
Around The League(s)
Fed up with the state of NHL video review? The league itself may be, too. Dan Rosen reported on what may happen next from the Stanley Cup Finals presser.
On the potential to expand video review, the China Games and the CBA: https://t.co/qUDQTVqn2n— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 28, 2019
The NHL Scouting Combine is underway, so it’s time to line up your picks.
This year’s Finnish ultra-prospect, Kaapo Kakko, has sent his regrets. I suppose now no one will want to draft him in the top 10 or something.
A few other invited prospects haven’t made the trip, either.
103 Draft-eligible players will attend the 2019 NHL Scouting Combine presented by adidas in Buffalo this week.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 28, 2019
The following invited players will not attend: Semyon Chystyakov, Vladislav Firstov, Daniil Gutik, Kaapo Kakko, Danil Misyul and Kirill Slepets. #NHLCombine pic.twitter.com/I5a7DyTcKo
Ever wondered why hockey’s top prospects don’t actually do any hockeying at this event? Chris Peters has written it up for ESPN+.
Since the NHL Scouting Combine moved to Buffalo, there have been growing questions as to why players don't do any on-ice testing at the event. Answers within: https://t.co/ObvhD1Y4ll (E+)— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) May 28, 2019
Dave Tippett just became the second former Stars coach in a row to take over for the Edmonton Oilers. Can he provide whatever it is the Copper and Blue need?
Is Tippett the tipping point the Oilers need to get back on track? https://t.co/WJM3ajWbbe— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) May 29, 2019
Two and a half years after he lost his leg, and nearly his life, Craig Cunningham is building a new future in hockey as an Arizona Coyotes scout.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
There may still be time to get in on the Texas Stars’ social giveaway for #WallpaperWednesday.
Want a CUSTOMIZED #txstars wallpaper for your phone or computer? Just reply to this tweet with the name and type of wallpaper you want (Phone/Computer/Both).— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) May 28, 2019
We'll reply to you with a custom image tomorrow for #WallpaperWednesday! pic.twitter.com/n1Q6l0MWLF
Sad news: One of DFW’s best sports writers, Gerry Fraley, died Saturday. The Dallas Morning News icon focused on the Texas Rangers, but occasionally wrote about the Stars as well. In fact, he contributed to a Stars-Predators preview just a month before his death from cancer.