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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Stars Work On Their After-Action To-Do List

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With the 2020 NHL Draft in the vaults, Jim Nill looks to coaching, free agency, and the Stars’ long injury list. Plus, the bubble format lives on, Free Agency - now with bonus uncertainty, and more.

2020 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Ben Fromstein/NHLI via Getty Images

As NHL teams wrestle with the COVID-era challenges facing them, Free Agency 2020 promises to be a uniquely fraught time. But GM Jim Nill and the Dallas Stars plan to approach the issues in the methodical way they approach pretty much everything.

One of the first items on Nill’s to-do list is settling Rick Bowness’ future with the organization. A meeting to discuss making Bowness’ interim status permanent was delayed for all the best reasons – but Nill hasn’t changed his mind about keeping Bowness as bench boss, reports Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika:

In regards to Bowness returning, Nill has been clear that he made his mind up in the playoffs. The 65-year-old coach has been mostly an assistant in his long career, but he returned to being a head coach for the first time since 2004 and had a great experience this year. Bowness said he would take time after the season to make his decision, and Nill said the two will probably meet soon.

“I’m very comfortable with Rick Bowness being our coach,” Nill said Thursday. “These are his players now. That’s the type of relationship he has, and as far as I know, he wants to come back, and we’ll move forward with that.”

As for roster decisions, Nill believes that most of what the team may need already exists within the organization:

“Something that’s forgotten in all of this is we started 1-7-1, but after that we had one of the best records in the NHL,” Nill said. “If you look at our record from November to February, our record was as good as anybody in the NHL. So this wasn’t a one-and-done situation - we had a good team.”

Because of that, Nill sees this being a good team with minimum changes going forward. Bring back a coaching staff that learned a lot about itself and installed important changes to spark some goal-scoring after the pause. Rely on a group of defensemen that tallied 67 points in 27 playoff games - the second most in NHL history. And allow a veteran forward group led by Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Joe Pavelski and Blake Comeau to get a boost from a young group that includes [Roope] Hintz, [Denis] Gurianov, [Joel] Kiviranta, [Nick] Caamano, [Jason] Robertson and [Ty] Dellandrea.

There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]


Stars Stuff

You’ve read Tyler’s recap from yesterday’s press conference – here’s how Sean Shapiro wrote it up for The Athletic.

So now you know for sure why Tyler Seguin seemed like a more muted version of himself during the Stanley Cup run.

The Stars’ front office has an all-clear to spend to the cap. Does that mean rumors of a salary dump may be exaggerated? Matthew DeFranks discusses.

I’m just gonna leave this here again, because Julius Honka.

Around The Leagues

A flat cap, a revenue gap, and a lot of uncertainty: Welcome to free agency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Did the St. Louis Blues send Alex Pietrangelo a “Baby Come Back” meme with their latest offer? There’s still no deal, but his departure may not be a foregone conclusion.

The goalie market is pretty well stocked this year, but Tuukka Rask prefers not to be part of it. The Boston Bruins starter offers his first interview since leaving the Stanley Cup bubble.

Is the bubble format the greatest legacy of the 2020 playoffs? Iowa’s Waterloo Black Hawks have taken a cue from the big leagues for their training camp – and it’s working.

Also at THN: The NHL season could start on the day usually reserved for the Winter Classic.

Mr. Game 7 is hanging up his skates. In one of many highlights in his long career, Justin Williams helped make the Carolina Hurricanes the “bunch of jerks” you love to love.

Greetings From Beautiful Boise

The Idaho Steelheads’ home arena is getting a new name, a (literal) new coat of paint, and some new upgrades.

Finally

Washington Capitals first-rounder Hendrix Lapierre grew up with an Alex Ovechkin Fathead on his wall. Ovie couldn’t let that go with comment. Enjoy.