When the Stanley Cup playoffs finally begin, the Dallas Stars will have a few black aces up their sleeves.
Saad Yousuf of The Athletic recently took a look at the Cedar Park stalwarts and up-and-comers – from Joel Kiviranta to Jake Oettinger – who could accompany the Stars into the playoffs:
Global pandemic or not, this is a mutually beneficial system for both the team and its young prospects. For the Stars, it gives the coaches extra bodies in practice to work with through drills and allows the NHL players to manage their energy and workload to be fresher for the big games. The prospects, meanwhile, will gain invaluable experience in high-intensity hockey.
“It’s huge. The fact is, you can’t replicate playoff hockey. It’s a whole new animal,” Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham, said. “To be around that kind of intensity where every play matters, every battle matters, every blue line matters, it’s huge for their development. At the end of the day, you learn how to win and what it takes to win. That’s big for anyone’s growth.”
That said, the COVID-19 emergency will affect how the black aces live, travel, and participate:
As The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro reported, the Stars will plan to carry three goaltenders and 28 skaters into the hub city where they start their playoff push. However, teams will be allowed to have more players in the training camp period preceding that, so there could be a camp battle for the right to be on the final taxi squad. Texas Stars general manager Scott White, Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill and the rest of the front office are usually the authorities on which players get the call. But Dallas Stars assistant coach Derek Laxdal, who served as Texas’ head coach from 2014 until Dec. 2019, offered some insight on the organization’s selection process.
“There are two different levels of players that would probably be part of the black aces,” Laxdal said. “You have players that can possibly step up if they have to and then players that are part of the development pool that need this experience and be part of the black ace squad.”
There’s more under the link – including a list of likely players and expert commentary from Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham. [The Athletic DFW]
Now that the Stars finally have that X, what are their next steps? Matthew DeFranks examines the case.
NEW from @MDeFranks:— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) May 27, 2020
Road to Stanley Cup could go through Dallas in new NHL format | #GoStarshttps://t.co/JJLc8nuaqa
“You’re going to feel vulnerable and it starts with that accountability and I have to look in the mirror first.” Tyler Seguin talks candidly about this statement and more.
EXCLUSIVE: Brian Boyle, Connor Carrick, Morgan Rielly and Tyler Seguin explain why they felt as white NHL players it was important to address race and racism.— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) June 3, 2020
"It is a movement that needs support, deserves support and I stand by that."https://t.co/Uat70m42cm
Dallas is in the running to be a hub city – but what are its odds of getting one of the two slots? The smart money may be on Vegas, but Helene Elliott looks at all the pros and cons.
NHL hub city candidates: The pluses and minuses for each of the 10 potential sites https://t.co/uFyx2jzhOV— Helene Elliott (@helenenothelen) June 2, 2020
Around The League(s)
Will the 2020-21 season begin with the Winter Classic? And when can non-playoffs teams start practicing? Here’s what the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are working on.
As the NHL and NHLPA continue to negotiate Return to Play, what about the 7 eliminated teams and the idea of a mini-camp for their NHL players midway through 9-10 months in inactivity? It's up to the players if that happens:https://t.co/GjH8DRZC9H— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 3, 2020
New Jersey Devils D-man P.K. Subban is trying to do something positive, and the league has pledged to join him.
"Change the game."@PKSubban1 donates $50K to Gianna Floyd GoFundMe and says the @NHL has matched it.pic.twitter.com/ZwazV6hS0y— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 3, 2020
Boston Bruins star Patrice Bergeron doesn’t even do social media, and he’s still owning it.
“It needs to be more than a simple Instagram post. Let’s take real actions."@NHLBruins' Patrice Bergeron has released a statement condemning racism, and announced his family is donating to the NAACP's Boston Branch and the Centre Multiethnique de Quebec.https://t.co/UP0Mwc47oI— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 3, 2020
Because there’s never an overdose of prospect talk, take a look at how the U.S. and college draft classes are shaping up.
New NHL Draft Class. A look at the top @USHL and @NCAAIceHockey prospects with Greg Rajanen of @NHLCentralScout.. How does Dylan Holloway stack up?— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) June 3, 2020
Apple Podcasts: https://t.co/rN2ZPIoS1n
Spotify: https://t.co/Db0p4iPnKL pic.twitter.com/tnBkRDlUsX
And if you’ve been bingeing on hockey movies during your shelter-in-place, this oral history of the making of “Miracle” may be for you.
The making of Miracle: An oral history - The greatest international hockey game ever played turned 40 in February, while the movie about it celebrated its Sweet 16. The men behind one of the best hockey films of all-time tell the story of how it got made. https://t.co/w8hyA6jTVq— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) May 31, 2020
Greetings From Beautiful Boise
While we’re reminiscing about what it was like when we had hockey...let’s revisit the Idaho Steelheads’ 2007 Kelly Cup team.
May 31st, 2007 @jwustrow with @TheIdahoPress takes a closer look at the 2006-07 Kelly Cup Champs!— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) May 31, 2020
Because we all need a little more Anton Khudobin in our day. Enjoy.
#1 in your hearts. #1 in NHL save percentage.#GoStars | @Bridgestone pic.twitter.com/gKcUdbrlRn— x-Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 27, 2020