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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Carrying Eight Defensemen

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Here we go again... Plus, evaluating the Stars’ prospect pool, talk about the NHL All-Star Game, and more.

Dallas Stars v Minnesota Wild Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

To the joy of Dallas Stars fans everywhere, Stephen Johns is finally back in the NHL after being sidelined for more than a year due to post-traumatic headaches. He made his season debut against the Minnesota Wild before the bye week, though he’ll still need more time to get back into the swing of things:

“There’s going to be an adjustment period to getting my game back to where it was,” Johns said after playing 18:29 with two shots on goal and two hits. “Obviously, there’s a big adjustment to the speed and size of the players because I haven’t played in such a long time. There’s going to be an adjustment to pretty much everything you can think of.”

But what probably excites Stars fans even more is that Johns’ return means the team will finally be carrying eight defensemen once more. And Dallas will have a very busy February, so interim head coach Rick Bowness plans to use them all:

“We’re running into a very busy and heavy part of our schedule, so we’re fortunate to be in the position that we have eight NHL defensemen,” Bowness said. “That being said, they all want to play and there are only six spots, so it’s going to be tough on the guys who are asked to sit out for the team. But they also know they are all going to play — 15 games in 29 days in February, and two tough games this week.

You can read more from Mike Heika here.


Stars Stories

After what feels like 10,000 years, hockey is back in Dallas! Here’s what the Stars’ lineup might look like tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning:

There are no breaks in coaching — here’s how Rick Bowness spent his bye week:

Dallas comes in at about the halfway mark in Scott Wheeler’s prospect pool rankings, thanks due largely to the team’s top prospects:


League Links

In case you missed it — and who would blame you? — the Pacific Division won this year’s NHL All-Star Game:

And now as per annual tradition, it’s time to complain about said event:

Player tracking has finally arrived. Is that, uhh, a good thing?


Finally...

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna passed away yesterday in a helicopter crash with seven others. All of us at Defending Big D send our condolences to those affected by the tragedy. Here’s what various NHL personalities had to say about the late Bryant: