With the NHL Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken only seven months away, it’s time to seriously dive into which player the Dallas Stars might lose. We wrote a piece on the draft a couple months ago, and now Saad Yousuf has put together his latest mock draft.
The most tantalizing option for Seattle will likely be Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin, who proved last postseason that he’s no mere backup and is one of the best in the league:
Khudobin will have two years remaining on a team-friendly contract. He is a great teammate, and his personality and attitude make him an instant dressing room fit. He has shown that he still has something left in the tank... He’s shown that he can play as a No. 1 goalie and also serve as a No. 2 without causing headaches for the team and coaches.
Of course, the Kraken will have plenty of goaltenders to choose from, so maybe Khudobin won’t be the pick. In that case, why not go the complete opposite direction with a young, high-risk player. Say, Julius Honka?
If injuries force Honka’s way up to some NHL action and he impresses or plays alarmingly well in the AHL, maybe there’s a small conversation to be had for Seattle. After all, he was a first-round pick, so there was something there at some point. Could a change of scenery help bring out the potential that has yet to be realized, like with Val Nichushkin in Colorado? Honka will be a restricted free agent, so at least Seattle would control his rights.
You can read more from Saad here.
Yesterday was bittersweet for Stars fans, as beat writer Sean Shapiro will now be moving on to write at a national level:
Happy to announce I’m moving to a new role with @TheAthleticNHL covering the business of hockey on a national level.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 7, 2020
To everyone that read my Stars coverage in various places since 2012, I can’t thank you enough. https://t.co/v6EblhL8E4
Fear not though, as Saad Yousuf will take over for Sean and exclusively cover the Stars:
As I said, becoming the Stars beat writer means a lot to me, on many levels. https://t.co/TOPQJllQfW— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) December 7, 2020
I went back-and-forth on if I wanted to share this part but I think it's important.
Just tip of the iceberg, but a word on why this means so much to me, on a cultural level pic.twitter.com/wEWFzzG2oq
The Stars’ ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads, are one of the latest teams to opt out of the upcoming season:
BREAKING— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) December 7, 2020
Idaho Steelheads elect voluntary suspension of play for the 2020-21 ECHL Season.
DETAILS ➡ https://t.co/6TGZAghZCD
Around the League
Speaking of new seasons, it looks like the NHL and NHLPA are finally ready to play nice and get theirs started, with a targeted January 13th start date:
Sources say there will be no more discussions on proposed financial changes to the MOU outlining the terms of the CBA. Sunday the NHLPA proposed more deferred money, but didn’t include an increase in escrow percentage at any point. Focus now on a mid Jan start to season.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 8, 2020
From last Friday: the Vancouver Canucks have parted ways with their national anthem singer following controversy:
The Canucks appear to have cut ties with anthem singer Mark Donnelly over his plan to sing at a rally to protest COVID-19 restrictions.https://t.co/HgmYGLfeIo— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 5, 2020
With the NHL hoping to return to normalcy for 2021-22, this new season will be very important for a few players hoping to prove their worth:
Finally, the Winnipeg Jets took a big hit to their defense before last season, then decided not to fix that this offseason. Here’s to improving from within: