Indeed, the COVID-19 spike in Texas was not much of a factor for the NHL brain trust at all, according to Stars president Brad Alberts. The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro talked with Alberts about the role food outlets have played in the league’s hub-city decisions:
NHL players staying at the Omni would have to take buses to the American Airlines Center, a short but necessary ride to avoid outside contact for those within the bubble. The Omni has restaurants, but not nearly as many offerings as some of the other hotels in other potential hub cities like Las Vegas.
“We couldn’t compete with that,” Alberts said. “At the end of the day, that was really the differentiator.”
Alberts identified another non-factor: the Stars’ extensive network of affiliated rinks. The availability of practice ice will matter very little in the proposed playoffs format:
“It became less important as it moved along,” Alberts confirmed. “You’re not going to have a lot of time to practice; it’s going to be teams playing all the time. The practice rinks became less of a priority as the league vetted through their own process.”
Sean has more. [The Athletic DFW]
The Stars are getting ready for training camp, and that includes bringing back some of the staff.
Some Stars employees have already been told they’ll be coming off furlough after July 4th weekend. I Don’t know how many, but team president Brad Alberts said yesterday he is hopeful to get more employees back working in July.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) June 30, 2020
Joe Pavelski’s LeanFeast franchise specializes in takeout meals – which is a good position when you open during a pandemic.
Pandemic or not, Stars’ Joe Pavelski going all-in with his first restaurant https://t.co/9Vj5QJLX3C— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) June 29, 2020
Everyone knew Jarome Iginla would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Hands up if you guessed he’d also be the first Stars pick to get there.
Jarome Iginla becomes first Dallas Stars draft pick elected to Hockey Hall of Fame https://t.co/08cCQuH1Ad— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) June 25, 2020
Speaking of which...Marian Hossa as another first-ballot entry, Kim St. Pierre as the first woman goaltender, Jim Nill’s longtime mentor, but still no Alex Mogilny. Sounds normal.
Around The League(s)
In the background of all the playoff prep, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are still working on a new CBA – and there’s big news there.
There are a ton of conflicting emotions running through players now, so I’d be lying if I said I know where they’ll land on a CBA vote. But a path to Olympic participation is there. https://t.co/stgFYZSuZ3— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2020
And as training camps open up, brace yourself for more news like this.
The NHL said 26 players have tested positive for the coronavirus since voluntary workouts began June 8 https://t.co/G46ttajetu— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) June 29, 2020
With Pride Month 2020 in the books, Shapiro takes a look at how hockey can be more inclusive for fans of every stripe.
There are many LGBTQ+ hockey fans that love a sport that doesn't love them back. I had a conversation with those fans about how the sport can be better and what "Hockey is for Everyone" actually means right now.https://t.co/zUp0TGUAjd— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) July 1, 2020
Current and former Stars Alexander Radulov, Matt Niskanen and Dan Hamhuis all play a role in Sam McCaig’s latest listicle.
Also at THN: Is the Middle East ready for puck and stick at the highest international level? Egypt Ice Hockey is planning on it.
Egypt in the IIHF? It's time for a pyramid scheme - Egypt’s nascent hockey program still has a long way to go, but having an ancient wonder of the world in their backyard could be their ticket to joining the IIHF: https://t.co/tSY3FQSZbz— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) July 1, 2020
Yesterday was a big one for the Great White North, and I’m sure the Texas Stars speak for all of us. Enjoy.