August is the last full month without hockey, so it’s a good time for Dallas Stars fans to get all those intrusive offseason thoughts out of their heads and into the hands of professionals.
Sean Shapiro jumps right in with his latest summer mailbag. First up: Is Denis Gurianov the real thing, and what should fans expect from him?
As far as Gurianov goes, I see an ideal fit with him and Roope Hintz. Both play fast, aggressive games and they’ve worked well together in the past in the AHL. Hintz found consistency last season in the NHL, Gurianov needs to do the same thing this season and certainly has the talent to fill that role.
So I wouldn’t call it hype, but rather an understanding that if Gurianov is able to check off the biggest box — consistency — he and Hintz could be a long-term tandem in the Stars top-six and put opposing defenders on their heels.
With Gury’s hypothetical addition plus the Stars’ offseason acquisitions, does Montgomery now have the team to play the fast, puck-moving style he favored during his college career?
It’s not a full-blown overhaul; the Stars have only made a couple additions. But I think the Stars will be more of a puck-possession team this season. I think it actually begins with the defense being more competent getting out of the zone with possession. Miro Heiskanen should only get better, while a healthy Stephen Johns will actually give the Stars four defenseman who can move the puck. Dallas never really had that last season.
The players the Stars added are also finishers, which is a skill that I think often gets overlooked. ... Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski are finishers. They might not be fast, but there’s a level of confidence and understanding of what needs to be done in dangerous areas. The Stars lacked that in much of the lineup this past season.
There’s more behind the paywall, including a compliance-buyout thought experiment and the missed draft pick that really should keep you awake at night. [The Athletic DFW]
OK, on the one hand, Sports Illustrated says Miro Heiskanen deserves a lot more love and attention from the media. On the other...a sleeper pick? Who might outperform his draft-day ranking? Did you really watch, or did you just read the reviews?
From the Offseason Training Videos Department, here is Radek Faksa in Hulk Smash mode.
Around The League(s)
Well, the New York Rangers have gotten under the cap – and they did it by buying out defender Kevin Shattenkirk.
Long-suffering Edmonton Oilers fans are hoping for miracles from new GM Ken Holland. Can he provide them?
How much time will it take Ken Holland to build the Edmonton Oilers into a contender? https://t.co/CK2yBHuBYX— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) August 1, 2019
It’s only been a month since the 2019 NHL Draft, so of course it’s time to look to 2020. Ryan Kennedy gives a quick overview of what’s expected to be a stellar class.
The 2020 NHL draft is shaping up to be one of the best we've seen in a very, very long time.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) August 2, 2019
Who are you most excited to see? @THNRyanKennedy broke down some of the best options.https://t.co/nkfNTmjX16
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars will honor a franchise player of their own when they send Travis Morin’s number to the rafters. The retiring captain will take a new leadership role – in the front office. [Texas Stars]
Here’s his open letter to the Cedar Park fans: