Yesterday was all about the Dallas Stars’ forwards and what a potential lineup might look like. Today we’ll focus on the defense, where the biggest question mark is whether or not Stephen Johns will be healthy again:
He skated for two of the four days during development camp last week, a sign of optimism for the upcoming season but certainly not an ironclad development in his recovery.
If Johns is not ready, the Stars are left with decisions. They could look into the trade market for a defenseman after Martin Hanzal is placed on long-term injured reserve, freeing up cap space to add a player during the season.
The other storyline to keep an eye on is when (not if) Julius Honka gets traded. The Stars have been actively shopping the former first-round pick, who has fallen out of grace with the organization:
As a young, talented and cheap defenseman, perhaps Honka’s value rises as teams get closer and closer to the salary cap and need a small contract to fit.
Honka could have been a solution on the right side if Johns is not healthy, but he never earned the trust of the Stars coaching staff last season when he was given an opportunity to play top-pair minutes
You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.
Another RFA locked up — the Stars have signed Gavin Bayreuther to a new one-year deal:
The Dallas Stars have signed defenseman Gavin Bayreuther to a one-year, two-way contract. https://t.co/XYWuKea0Jd— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 8, 2019
As mentioned yesterday, the Stars have promoted Idaho Steelheads head coach Neil Graham to the AHL:
The #txstars have a new Assistant Coach! Neil Graham joins the Stars coaching staff.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) July 8, 2019
Graham previously held coaching positions with the club's ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads, since 2012.
Read: https://t.co/Zw7dmb5X8j pic.twitter.com/nMhOfRKTKr
Miro Heiskanen was a gem last season. Is it really fair to just pick one favorite moment?
His rookie season was incredible. We can't wait to see what Miro Heiskanen has in store for us in his second year.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 8, 2019
It was hard for us to pick just four plays, but now you have to pick one. Which is your favorite Miro highlight from last season? #GoStars
Around the League
The biggest signings of NHL free agency have come and gone, which means we’ve already seen some bad deals signed:
On that note, the Stars got excellent contract value out of Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry. Andrej Sekera and Roman Polak? Not so much:
What are the chances a free agent is worth his new contract?https://t.co/n98CuZkb4b— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) July 8, 2019
Speaking of bargains, the San Jose Sharks got one by signing Kevin Lebanc to a one-year contract worth $1 million:
Seriously, this is a guy who scored 17 goals and 56 points. Only $1 million?!
When we set the weights to 0% for all our Contract Comparable filters other than 'Games Played' and 'Points' similarity, here are the top 5 results for Kevin Lebanc of the San Jose #Sharks.https://t.co/czFV3359wW pic.twitter.com/QW558oyWx1— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 8, 2019
I still think a Mitch Marner offer sheet won’t happen, but then again Sebastian Aho actually signed one, so...