Barring any trades or surprise UFA signings, we have a pretty good idea what the Dallas Stars’ roster will look like for 2019-20. What we don’t know, however, is how those players will be paired together.
For instance, many fans expect Corey Perry to come in and play a bottom-six role. But if the sniper is fully healthy and rediscovers his game, he could be a potential fit in the top six:
Right off the bat, [Jamie] Benn feels like an obvious complement opposite Perry. They played well together during the 2014 Olympics, can both bring a physical style of hockey and can pester opposing teams. There could be some concern pairing forwards coming off subpar seasons, but an injection of [Tyler] Seguin could boost that line.
Another big question mark for the forwards is Denis Gurianov. The Stars’ prospect had a great season in the AHL last year, and if he can stay consistent, he might stay in the NHL for good this time around:
With five forwards gone off last year’s roster, there is a big window of opportunity for Gurianov to make the team out of training camp, which he was threatening to do last season with a strong camp.
If he does, he could start out in the bottom six (what speed a line of Gurianov, Jason Dickinson and Mattias Janmark would bring), with a chance to move up with some line juggling.
You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.
The Texas Stars have a new assistant coach, albeit at the expense of the Stars’ ECHL team, the Idaho Steelheads:
BREAKING: @Steelheads looking for new head coach; per sources. Neil Graham takes assistant job with Derek Laxdal, another ex-Idaho HC now with @TexasStars (AHL). Graham won 166 games, made 4 playoff appearances here (also asst. for 3 years). New coach will be 8th since 1997-98. pic.twitter.com/38LburpkxI— (@MikeFPrater) July 8, 2019
Ex-Star Gemel Smith is sticking around in the Atlantic Division, signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning:
Tampa Bay Lightning sign forward Gemel Smith to one-year, two-way contract #TBLightning #SyrCrunch https://t.co/QNEeF5LXqU— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) July 8, 2019
Around the League
It’s finally official — the Carolina Hurricanes have matched the Montreal Canadiens’ offer sheet on Sebastian Aho:
DONE DEAL!— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) July 7, 2019
We have OFFICIALLY matched the @CanadiensMTL's offer sheet for @SebastianAho! pic.twitter.com/A9zpAJRUI7
Here’s what the star in question has to say about the whole ordeal:
5 more years in Carolina ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PsrG65T8C0— Sebastian Aho (@SebastianAho) July 7, 2019
I’m not sure I’d count the Stars’ signings as weird, but Robin Lehner to the Chicago Blackhawks definitely is:
Free agency can get weird. This year, it got weirder than usual. Here are five of this summer's strangest signings:https://t.co/FTs15lr1gh— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) July 7, 2019
Marcus Johnasson refuses to leave the East Coast, signing with the Buffalo Sabres:
This morning, it was announced that the Buffalo #Sabres reached a two-year deal with UFA forward, Marcus Johansson. @SciandraSports has more on the 28-year-old Swedish playmaker. #NHL #FreeAgency https://t.co/f2Gr5tJgkD— Die By The Blade HC (@diebytheblade) July 6, 2019