If the Dallas Stars aren’t bringing enough drama for you, don’t forget that there’s a new thrill in town.
The IIHF U18 Men’s World Championships have come to Frisco and Plano. Ten international teams have shown up for the fight, which begins today and continues through the gold-medal game on May 6.
And while the public is welcome in Frisco’s Comerica Center, the Plano games will be open to scouts only. Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika devoted his latest article to why this return to in-person events is such a big deal, for both players and professionals:
This will be the last best chance for teams to assess talent before the 2021 NHL Draft on July 23 and 24, and it will be a reflection of just how much the industry has been affected by the pandemic. Some leagues have played, some leagues started and stopped, some haven’t played at all....
“It’s been a challenge for everyone,” said Stars general manager Jim Nill. “It’s just a lot to deal with for the players and for the scouts. It will be nice to have a little normalcy here, just seeing guys again for the first time in a year or so, so that does help just make us all feel better.”
Are there potential NHL regulars among this class of players, stalled and potentially set back as they have been by the COVID-19 pandemic? It will be their challenge to show it, and the scouts’ challenge to spot it, and the fans’ challenge to recognize those big moments for themselves. The excitement level is palpable for everyone:
...Not only do the scouts get to be back in the building with players, they get to be back with fellow scouts. Scouts from other countries might still have to jump through hoops to get to Texas, but once they do, the experience should be electric.
“The skill level is unbelievable at this age,” said Lucas Reid, director of amateur hockey and partnership development for the Stars, and the man who helped bring the tournament to Texas. “It really is going to be a treat for fans, because these players are the best of the best.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
For supplemental reading, check out Stephen Whyno’s piece for the Associated Press on what will be “the center of the hockey universe” for the next couple of weeks.
Under-18 world championship starts Monday outside Dallas. It’s always an important tournament, but this year it’s the premier NHL draft scouting showcase because of this weird season:https://t.co/V4NVG6JTmp— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) April 25, 2021
And here’s Steven Ellis with the players to watch.
It’s always time for a rewind when it comes to Beast Mode Benn. Here’s Jamie putting the team on his back Saturday night, as a captain does.
Meanwhile, it’s Pride Night in the AAC, and here’s how we tune in.
Want a more lasting souvenir? Every purchase of these commemorative tickets will benefit Dallas Hope Charities.
If you’ve ever wanted a visual representation of just how injured Dallas has played this season...well, to quote our own Taylor, “Lol the Stars broke the axis.”
Plot of Lost WAR to injuries against points per game through 24 April pic.twitter.com/UhbX1M4Hke— NHLInjuryViz (@NHLInjuryViz) April 25, 2021
Around The Leagues
- The Florida Panthers got a 4-3 comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime, largely on the strength of MacKenzie Weegar’s four-point night. [Litter Box Cats]
- And in other OT victories for Sunshine State teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning came back from a deficit, twice, to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. [Raw Charge]
The Jason Robertson-Roope Hintz-Joe Pavelski line is getting plenty of attention from the fantasy leagues – and now, so is the Jason Dickinson-Jamie Benn-Denis Gurianov corps.
Now that he’s caught his breath, Patrick Marleau has lots of words for everyone who helped, cheered, or congratulated him on his record-setting 1,768th NHL game.
Elsewhere, Andrew Shaw, at age 29, is calling it a career due to his history of brain injuries.
Andrew Shaw is retiring from the NHL at age 29 after doctors “highly recommended” it following several concussions.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) April 26, 2021
Talked to Andrew about it yesterday.
“I want people to know that I’m OK. I’m in a good place. But I’m going to miss it like crazy.” https://t.co/RhyUEBR1qb
Make the extreme mainstream: Engineer Leonard Lye designed a custom glove so an 11-year-old with cerebral palsy can play hockey.
Carter Burton is fulfilling his dream of playing minor hockey, thanks to an engineer who custom-designed a glove for the 11-year-old boy with cerebral palsy https://t.co/n6wnSEW8x1— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) April 26, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars don’t play again until Thursday, but at least the Twitter feed is staying busy.
We haven't done wallpaper Wednesday in a while so we hope this makes up for it! pic.twitter.com/fJ4I0OtLI0— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) April 21, 2021
It was as if someone enabled a cheat for Jonathan Bernier, wasn’t it? It’s finally over. Enjoy.