Last offseason, the Dallas Stars decided to pull the plug on the Ken Hitchcock experiment after just a single, postseason-less season. His replacement, current head coach Jim Montgomery, proceeded to not only get the Stars back into the playoffs, but also one goal away a Conference Final appearance.
So how impactful was that coaching change? According to Esa Lindell, the most noticeable change was how open Montgomery is to his players compared to Hitchcock:
“Last summer, (Monty) said a few things and right away it was like, you’re going to know the next day if you played good or bad,” Lindell said. “That’s what made a big difference for me from how I felt from Hitch last year. That communication is a big key for (Monty).”
Lindell wasn’t the only player who thought that — several others also viewed Montgomery’s “player’s coach” approach to be a breath of fresh air, including veteran Jason Spezza:
“Communication is really big. As a player, all you ask for is to know where you stand,” Spezza said. “If things are going good, what the coach likes and if things aren’t going good, what he doesn’t like. When the communication is on, it makes it an easier locker room to be a part of and an easier locker room to be a leader in, too, because you want to be on the same page as the coach.”
You can read more from Saad Yousuf here.
Yousuf’s piece also talks about a similar change the Texas Rangers made last offseason. Speaking of which...
The Stars will be out one week from today at Dallas Stars Night with the @Rangers.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 10, 2019
Ben Bishop and newly acquired forward Corey Perry will take part in batting practice and throw out the first pitch at the Rangers game on Wednesday, July 17. #GoStars pic.twitter.com/8F8WiyvB5F
Here’s a cool interview with Jamie Oleksiak about his love for tattoos:
You can never be too careful when it comes to personal artwork, and for @jamieoleksiak, he prefer his tattoos tell a story.— NHLPA (@NHLPA) July 9, 2019
This week's #MyTop5 features the defenceman and his ink: https://t.co/fKXJIoxVIs pic.twitter.com/p0L3UWU8eO
The Texas Stars schedule is out! Hope to see some of you fellow Austinites at the H-E-B Center this year!
Someone take away GM Jim Benning’s pen. The Vancouver Canucks have signed Michael Ferland to a four-year deal worth $3.5 million annually:
I feel sorry for Canucks fans when it’s time to start re-upping their RFAs:
After 21 NHL seasons, Matt Cullen has finally decided to hang up his skates:
We already knew it, but analytics proves John Klingberg’s contract to be one of the best in the league:
By the numbers: A look at the 10 best contracts in hockeyhttps://t.co/9zJdUs22en— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) July 10, 2019
Some sad news from Tuesday, as former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson passed away. Everyone at Defending Big D extends their condolences to his family and friends:
Finally, here’s a comment prompt for you all: would you like to see the Stars trade for Rasmus Ristolainen?