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]
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.
We unfortunately don’t rate players on their looks, but if we did @tseguinofficial would be #1! What we do rate players on is their shooting, which Seguin excels in! His 94 Wrist Shot Accuracy is near the top of the class in #NHL20! #NHL20Top50 @DallasStars pic.twitter.com/xFhKP2QSVF— #NHL20 (@EASPORTSNHL) August 29, 2019
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!
#FantasyHockey top 25— Pete Jensen (@NHLJensen) August 29, 2019
Full list on @nhldotcom: https://t.co/JTQ5c7Pmb3
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.
Puljujarvi signed a deal for the upcoming season with a Finnish club earlier this week that includes an opt-out clause until Dec. 1.— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) August 28, 2019
But teammate Draisaitl said he hopes the door hasn't been slammed shut: https://t.co/anCFUT4rT5
Wayne Simmonds is looking forward to a fresh start with the New Jersey Devils, a team that could really use one.
"Our minds are set the same way... It just fit well."— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 29, 2019
Both @Simmonds17 and the @NJDevils had their fair share of struggles in the 2018-19 season. Now, they're looking for a shot at redemption. (@lukefoxjukebox)https://t.co/CtPFKVmRan
Hey @Avalanche! This guy looks quite happy in Hamar, and we promise to take good care of him! Just take your time, we've got jersey number 96 available... #GoAvsGo #2hockey #storhamargutta pic.twitter.com/1PuLma75iq— Storhamar Hockey (@StorhamarHockey) August 26, 2019
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.
Cam Ward (2006) was one of five rookie goaltenders in the NHL's expansion era to win a #StanleyCup. The others: Jordan Binnington (2019), Matt Murray (2016, 2017), Patrick Roy (1986) and Ken Dryden (1971). #NHLStats https://t.co/qWJoUyuR21— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 28, 2019
Great stories always start surfacing when a hockey player retire, and another legend has shared hers.
When I was 19 years old Cam Ward used his @VaughnHockey equipment $$ to help me get a new pair of pads while I was playing Junior A in the @TheAJHL— Shannon Szabados (@ShannonSzabados) August 28, 2019
Thank you and happy retirement Wardo. @CanesNHL pic.twitter.com/gzKhZorCep
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.
Not often you get to live a second dream...and that's happening in broadcasting! Can't wait to hop behind the desk with the @GoldenKnights. Hard to believe I'm coming full circle; Vegas has always held a special place since I began my pro career there with the @WranglersLV— Mike McKenna (@MikeMcKenna56) August 29, 2019
Ben Bishop, Foley artist. Enjoy.