The Dallas Stars’ best prospects are in town this week, but the biggest story from their annual meet-up is about a veteran, writes Sean Shapiro.
Shapiro is at the Stars’ Prospect Development Camp in Frisco, where Stephen Johns is doing full drills for the first time since training camp in Boise last September. Different Stars personnel have different views on the status of the defender’s recovery from post-traumatic headaches, Shapiro reports. But, he adds, there’s no way this isn’t positive news:
He’s skating alongside prospects this week, many of whom will never play for the Stars, but this is a chance to compete at full speed against players giving maximum effort – a rarity in late June.
This is not an overly physical camp; there won’t be many hits. But it serves as a good test case for where Johns is in his progression towards potentially playing during the 2019-20 season.
Johns has elected not to talk to the media about his status — there are other steps he wants to take first — but he told Stars coach Jim Montgomery that he felt good after skating for close to 90 minutes on Tuesday. He also looked like himself and shared some moments of levity with the prospects, at one point trying to shoot pucks out of mid-air (similar to skeet shooting) with Jason Robertson.
Sean has much more from a busy week, including an exchange of compliments from incipient Hall of Famers Guy Carbonneau and Sergei Zubov, a Jordie Benn sighting (!), and this update:
Former Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is a volunteer goalie coach this week at development camp, I joked with Stars goalie coach Jeff Reese that he was an intern while watching one of the sessions. I’ve got a story coming later today on Lehtonen – stay tuned.
Duck behind the paywall to check it out. [The Athletic DFW]
Confirmed: The Stars are in on the Joe Pavelski market, as the San Jose Sharks’ captain makes the rounds during the UFA talking period.
Can confirm Pavelski had meeting at Stars practice facility in Frisco. He also got tour of other parts of DFW from Stars to get an idea of fit for his family https://t.co/d0bMKWSIjU— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) June 26, 2019
Athletic colleague Saad Yousuf found this an opportune time to revisit Sean’s book, and the lopsided trade that brought Zubie to Dallas at Carbo’s urging.
Really cool to see Guy Carbonneau and Sergei Zubov get the Hall of Fame nod together.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) June 26, 2019
Guy had a pretty big role in bringing Sergei to Dallas, which eventually resulted in that 1999 Stanley Cup.
(h/t @seanshapiro’s book “100 things Stars Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die”) pic.twitter.com/vfD0SWFD1f
Speaking of Hall of Famers, Mike Modano was predictably enthused about the guys who will be joining him there.
Around The League(s)
Is there still room for bridge deals with a class of super-talented RFAs? Elliotte Friedman talks about it, plus the rumors connecting Corey Perry to Dallas.
Sebastian Aho is one of the biggest stars of the 2019 RFA class, and he’s reportedly eager to re-up with the Carolina Hurricanes – so this is getting interesting.
John Shannon was on OilersNow (630 CHED Edmonton) and said that the Carolina Hurricanes' offer to Sebastian Aho currently comes in at just $6M x 8 years. https://t.co/YTDXdI8CgS pic.twitter.com/vBQZpqlAhW— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) June 25, 2019
Aho is being touted as possibly the prime candidate for an offer sheet in a group full of them. Don’t rule it out, is what Pierre is saying.
Is this the year of the offer sheet? The RFA speaking window opens Wednesday. In my Tuesday notebook we look at a special class of RFA stars, why none of them have signed yet, and perhaps the mostly likely target for an offer sheet. Plus some UFA notes: https://t.co/YXUoKkMQ63— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 25, 2019
Meanwhile, the Canes are doing other work, with a confirmed trade to bring over center Erik Haula (and his cap hit) from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Breaking news: The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy, multiple sources confirm with The Athletic.— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) June 27, 2019
Full story- https://t.co/QD9ypTqccx #VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/kWNFGdQljS
Roberto Luongo is hanging up his goalie pads, and of course he announced it on Twitter.
I’ve decided to take my talents to a South Beach retirement home ✌ pic.twitter.com/BTuZIo8XT8— Strombone (@strombone1) June 26, 2019
He also wrote an open letter to his fans:
Lu’s retirement brings an end to one of the NHL’s greatest careers, and probably makes him the greatest goalie never to win a Stanley Cup.
Roberto Luongo leaves the NHL as one of the most accomplished goalies in league history https://t.co/CfG3PiWgUt— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) June 26, 2019
Fans talk all the time about trading that big contract that no longer seems worth it, but how hard is it to do? Rory Boylen looks at some of the biggest.
There are some nice souvenirs coming out of Prospect Development Camp. Collect ’em all!