Typically when a skater still on their ELC is considered to be your best player, it’s because you’re not a very good team. Rarely can you make that claim when you’re a reigning Conference Champion, but that’s how it is with the Dallas Stars and Miro Heiskanen.
Already a bona fide No. 1 defenseman, Heiskanen has exceeded every expectation the Stars have had for him. And what’s even crazier is that there’s always room for improvement:
“Miro’s just going to keep getting better with experience,” coach Rick Bowness said. “We’ve talked about that before. He’s such an intelligent player, he reads the play so well. The more experience he gains, he’s just going to continue to make himself a top defenseman in this league for a long, long time.”
Thanks to his performance in last year’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Heiskanen will be on the PHWA’s radar for a potential Norris Trophy, given annually to the league’s best defenseman. But the ever humble superstar doesn’t like to dwell on such possibilities:
“I don’t really think that way,” Heiskanen said. “Like I say many times, I just do my thing and don’t think about too much what the other people are all talking about. I just do my thing, try to help my team every night and that’s it. I don’t really think about it too much that way.”
You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.
With Seguin out, Dallas will be out an alternate captain. Who are the top candidates to assume that role?
Tyler Seguin's absence leaves a void in leadership group. Who gets that "A?"— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 16, 2021
Stars have options but the answer is obvious.
That, and more from practice as a bunch of players return. Back to analyzing lines (‼️) and talking Hintz & Gurianov ice time https://t.co/BwPOf5B6aJ
At home this season, the Stars will be wearing their Victory Green jerseys 15 times, their new Blackout Alternates 10 times, and their white Reverse Retros three times:
Around the League
Personally, the hardest thing getting used to this season is the sheer volume of games every night. That being said, it was a rather quiet Monday for the Central:
- A bit close for comfort, but the Columbus Blue Jackets squeezed out a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. [The Cannon]
- Meanwhile the Carolina Hurricanes took care of business against the Winnipeg Jets, winning 4-2. [Canes Country]
Is it too early for Power Rankings? Nonsense, says Down Goes Brown:
Here are some other takeaways from the very young 2020-21 season:
ICYMI: Five small-sample-size stats that already matter in 2020-21— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) January 18, 2021
Less than a week into the season, most stats don't carry much weight yet. But a few exceptions carry instantly important implications.
Senior Writer @THNMattLarkin breaks it down: https://t.co/77KJrGH6hK
The Pierre Luc-Dubois situation in Columbus is starting to get ugly...
Here is a deep dive into what the Hockey Diversity Alliance has been doing to help combat racism in hockey:
Fourteen months ago, when Akim Aliu tweeted about Bill Peters, he hoped for a reckoning in hockey. Since then, he (and his player coalition, the HDA) have grown more frustrated than ever with the NHL and its approach to race.— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) January 19, 2021
In this month's @SInow: https://t.co/ZefiSrYBM2