The Dallas Stars had a handful of huge roster decisions to make before opening night, and almost all of them were between the pipes. Now they’ve made clear what many fans had already surmised.
Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin will begin the 2021-22 NHL season as the team’s tandem of choice. Jake Oettinger, whose stellar performance in the abbreviated 2021 season showed him as the clear future No. 1, will be the man to watch in Cedar Park. And Ben Bishop, whose return could both create and solve a number of challenges in and of itself, is officially on long-term injured reserve.
The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks devoted his latest article to the Stars’ increasingly impenetrable goaltending situation – and naturally, he started with money:
More often than not, contracts make rosters, and the fact that Oettinger was waivers exempt allowed the Stars to preserve inventory in net. Holtby signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Stars over the summer after back-to-back subpar seasons in Washington and Vancouver, when he posted sub.-900 save percentages both seasons.
Now, the question becomes who is the No. 1 goalie taking the ice Thursday in New York? Bowness said the Stars have decided who is starting, but he did not disclose who. He also said the Stars will ride the hot hand (if the schedule allows), much like they did at times last season with Khudobin and Oettinger.
Does it help to know that both members of the Stars’ starting tandem are experienced, tough, and look good to go? Stars head coach Rick Bowness would indicate that it does:
“[Holtby is] a real pro,” Bowness said. “He’s low maintenance. He knows what he has to do. Listen, he’s won a Cup, he’s won Vezinas. He’s been in the league a long time, and played at a very high level for a long time. He knows what he has to do.”
Khudobin rebounded from a poor start in Florida to allow just two goals on 37 shots in his final two preseason games. Bowness said Khudobin “looked more like his old self [from] two years ago,” and also said Khudobin reported to camp in much better shape this time around.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
The Stars begin their season on the road, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go downtown and enjoy it with other fans.
Looking for your Opening Night plans for Thursday?— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 11, 2021
Join the Stars Street Team, select alumni, Ice Girls and Victor E. Green at the @ATT Opening Night Watch Party!
️ Thursday, October 14
AT&T Discovery District
Weather permitting pic.twitter.com/XuceGq1CJh
The entire NHL has gotten on board with Adidas’ new sweaters made from plastic waste. Will you buy a Primegreen replica jersey when they’re available? Discuss.
We've never looked so (Victory) Green.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 12, 2021
This season, we take the ice as one league to help #EndPlasticWaste. The Authentic ADIZERO adidas NHL Primegreen Jersey is ready for its debut on ice. pic.twitter.com/eQ67VzxUhN
Around The Leagues
No #MurderDeathKill action on a Tuesday night? It really must be the regular season again. Moving on....
ESPN may be more proud to have this theme back than the NHL itself. Yet somehow they avoided mentioning Bob Christianson by name, in a tweet that’s about him. Fixed.
It's the soundtrack to some of hockey's most iconic moments— ESPN (@espn) October 12, 2021
As the ESPN @NHL theme song we all love returns tonight for the first time in 17 years, @justinbieber takes a look at how it all came to be. pic.twitter.com/Peq6n1GQoG
If you’re done speculating about the Stars’ opening-night roster, check out everyone else’s.
Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg get just enough love to be not nearly enough in the latest preseason predictions post from the league’s official Best Brains.
In the third of our preseason Trophy Tracker series, a vote by a panel of 17 @NHLdotcom writers projects Cale Makar of the Avalanche will win the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the NHL.— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) October 12, 2021
Find out who else we expect to be in the running.https://t.co/fLCOTp9zpp
Do you miss Sean Shapiro? Because he misses you. Feel free to pepper him with questions about the ongoing Sinclair/Bally Sports Southwest kerfuffle.
One thing I miss about old gig was mailbag element/interaction with readers on Stars beat. So if you have a question on the business of hockey, TV, escrow, etc.... fire away and I'll include some mailbag style answers in notebook this week— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) October 12, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Hockey season is finally beginning, and that means everybody gets a gift! Here’s one from the Texas Stars and the AHL.
Of course, T-Stars Twitter offers gifts like this video all the time.
On today’s episode of How It’s Made, we’re talking nets pic.twitter.com/JLL8x5JfCP— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) October 10, 2021
Also, they did tell you what was up with the opening-night roster, remember?
No lies detected....