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Dallas Stars Daily Links: A Cool Breeze In West Texas

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El Paso gets some good news, and an NHL game, as it wins big in the Kraft Hockeyville USA competition. Plus, Heiskanen’s amazing postseason continues, Benn bubbles up in the fantasy rankings, and more.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announces El Paso, Texas, as the winner of the 2020 Kraft Hockeyville USA competition.

There’s quite a bit to be excited about where Texas hockey is concerned. The Dallas Stars are dominating a Stanley Cup playoffs series with the heavily favored Colorado Avalanche. And the city of El Paso has landed squarely on the winter-sports map as the winner of the 2020 Kraft Hockeyville USA title.

There are the usual benefits of winning the Kraft challenge, not the least of which is $150,000 for rink upgrades and $10,000 in new equipment. But undoubtedly there are also healing effects for a community stunned and heartbroken by a racially-motivated mass shooting that happened almost exactly a year ago:

Since the kickoff of this year’s program, El Paso County Coliseum and its supporters have not only rallied online and voted but have also showed their spirit and pride for their local rink, proving them to be the most passionate hockey community in America. Ever since opening its doors in 1942 and originally built to host rodeos, El Paso County Coliseum has been a place for this tight-knit community to unite, heal and celebrate all that is good.

“Kraft Hockeyville is all about showing passion and dedication to a community’s spirit,” said Magen Hanrahan, vice president of media and marketing services at Kraft Heinz. “El Paso has shown how important El Paso County Coliseum and hockey is to its community.”

That prize money will go toward renovations to transform that literal barn into a venue capable of hosting an NHL game. Cory Herman, head coach of the NAHL’s El Paso Rhinos, offers some context.

There’s more information on the Hockeyville USA finalists and prizes at NHL.com. [NHL]

You can get more of the local perspective at El Paso’s ABC affiliate. [KVIA]

And we probably have another Sean Shapiro road-trip diary to look forward to, as well.


Stars Stuff

What’s with this exciting Dallas Stars hockey? Sean Shapiro examines the case for Corey Perry, and also what may be the final answer in the Miro Heiskanen vs. Cale Makar debate.

Heiskanen has broken a franchise postseason record that stood for nearly 40 years, and it’s even more impressive than you think.

This Hardline host has a take that may be relevant to your interests.

Meanwhile, this Stars broadcaster is not having any more of your nonsense.

Around The League(s)

Would you believe three teams are on the verge of closing the deal in Round 2? The New York Islanders held off the Philadelphia Flyers in a 3-2 contest...

...while the Vegas Golden Knights came from behind for a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

The Avs face a reckoning tonight, and it’s not just the win-or-go-home stakes in Game 5. Beat writer Ryan S. Clark puts it in perspective.

And if the Stars can close the deal, the Golden Knights – and a resurgent Max Pacioretty – could be looming over the horizon.

This year’s Kraft Hockeyville Canada title goes to a tiny town (pop. 2,196) in the Confederation’s smallest province, Newfoundland and Labrador.

And Jamie Benn is bubbling up in the postseason fantasy rankings.

Finally

Because everyone can benefit from a GIF of a pumped-up Alexander Radulov. Enjoy.