The Central Division was always going to be a complete buzzsaw, as it usually is. But this afternoon, the race got tighter after the St. Louis Blues made a significant trade.
In exchange for defenseman Joel Edmundson, forward Dominik Bokk, and a 2021 7th round pick, the Blues acquired Justin Faulk and a 5th round pick in 2020 from the Carolina Hurricanes. The move upgrades the Blues’ backend — and then they locked it down for another seven years, signing him to an extension worth $6.5 million on average annually.
The Dallas Stars, meanwhile, are wondering which forward is going to make their case for inclusion on the NHL roster this season. At media availability after this morning’s skate, head coach Jim Montgomery had a strong message for those young forwards: prove you want it.
Asked if the young forwards battling for a bubble spot need to play with urgency tonight, Monty says:— Jeff Odom (@jeffodom) September 24, 2019
“A lot. A lot of urgency. They need to start proving they want to play for the Dallas Stars this year.”#GoStars
Dallas Stars Lineup
The Stars are still rolling a fairly young lineup, with key fixtures such as Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen not playing tonight. Lines as reported from morning skate by Jeff Odom of the Stars staff are as follows:
Jamie Benn - Roope Hintz - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Jason Dickinson - Denis Gurianov
Nicholas Caamano - Rhett Gardner - Jason Robertson
Blake Comeau - Ty Dellandrea - Joel Kiviranta
Thomas Harley - John Klingberg
Esa Lindell - Roman Polak
Jamie Oleksiak - Andrej Sekera
Landon Bow and Jake Oettinger will split time in net tonight, with Montgomery indicating earlier this week that Ben Bishop and Antoin Khudobin will each get a full start the last two preseason games. Bow is expected to get two periods tonight while Oettinger will get one.
St. Louis Blues
Forwards: Ivan Barbashev, Sammy Blais, Tyler Bozak, Robby Fabbri, Klim Kostin, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Zach Sanford, Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Steen, Oskar Sundqvist
Defense: Robert Bortuzzo, Vince Dunn,
Joel Edmundson (someone else will be in the lineup, though don’t expect it to be Faulk already), Carl Gunnarsson, Alex Pietrangelo, Jake Walman
Jake Allen and Adam Wilcox will mind the net.