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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Stars And Finland Are A Match Made In Hockey Heaven

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From Lehtinen to Heiskanen, Heika looks at the past and future of Finnish Stars. Plus, RFA updates, goalie retirements, and more.

Winnipeg Jets v Dallas Stars Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

We can talk all day about the Dallas Stars and their symbiotic relationship with Finland hockey. With Miro Heiskanen, Roope Hintz and Esa Lindell looking more and more like future faces of the franchise, it’s a good time to examine the team’s long history of Finnish Hockey Power.

Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika took the occasion of the recent Liiga alumni game in Lahti, Finland to create a then-and-now piece that starts, fittingly enough, with the Stars legend who currently serves as GM of the Finnish National Team:

[Jere] Lehtinen was the perfect player at the perfect time, as he mirrored the style of then Stars general manager Bob Gainey. During a Hall of Fame career with the Montreal Canadiens, Gainey won the Selke Trophy (given to the best defensive forward in the league) four times. Lehtinen then went on to win it three times with the Stars.

Lehtinen’s success with the team led to Dallas going back to find players such as Antti Miettinen, Jussi Jokinen, Niko Kapanen and Niklas Hagman.

”When I was in Dallas, we had a bunch of Finns,” Miettinen said before the All-Star Game. “Now they are stacking up again and they got some great talent there in the Finnish players. It’s good to see. I think Finnish hockey is booming right now.”

The nation’s long history of punching above their weight in the sport also figures prominently:

“Finland is a small country and a blue-collar country, and they are very proud of their hockey,” [Stars senior advisor to the general manager Les] Jackson said. “I think if you look at a lot of international tournaments, they are ‘overachieving’ so to speak. They’re almost always on the medal stand, and they play hard all of the time.”

The Stars have even made a cool video about it for your viewing pleasure.

And there’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]


Stars Stuff

Either we can discuss Tyler Seguin’s overall rating in Chel, or we can continue the Twitter fight over whether this really looks like Tyler Seguin.

Nine stars, led by Ben Bishop, made the NHL Fantasy staff’s top 250 for 2019-20. Find out where Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski landed!

Around The League(s)

In RFA news: Jesse Puljujarvi is on his way to Finland, but his options may include a return to the Edmonton Oilers.

Wayne Simmonds is looking forward to a fresh start with the New Jersey Devils, a team that could really use one.

Meanwhile, Mikko Rantanen is practicing with a Norwegian team while the Colorado Avalanche regroups. [NHL]

Cam Ward has signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes so he can retire as a proud member of the Bunch of Jerks.

Great stories always start surfacing when a hockey player retire, and another legend has shared hers.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

In other retirement news, former Texas Stars goalie Mike McKenna is hanging up his pads...

...and stepping directly into the broadcasting booth for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Finally

Ben Bishop, Foley artist. Enjoy.