Although the Dallas Stars failed to make the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they still had some bright spots in the regular season. Leading the way was Jason Robertson, who was named a Calder Trophy Finalist for the NHL’s best rookie due to his phenomenal performance.
Mike Heika caught up with Robertson recently to chat about his year, as well as his offseason regimen. A big part of that is studying film, having learned the benefits of simply watching the game during last year’s playoffs:
Being in the bubble, I saw what I needed to be better at. You watch the older guys practice and prepare and play the playoff games, and that’s just like a huge classroom. You see what you need to do on the ice, and it clicks that you need to improve yourself off the ice in training by doing certain things...I’ve watched all my games from last season, and I really have learned a lot just from going over and over what happened and how I reacted.
Whereas last year Robertson was solely focused on making the NHL squad, this year he’s taken aim at solidifying himself as one of the team’s top forwards and helping Dallas make the playoffs. Helping him out is a fellow workout partner in his younger brother, Nick Robertson:
Having Nick train with me always pushes me to go even harder. We’re very competitive and he’s in the same boat I was in last year (to secure a regular spot on the NHL roster), so his push and his determination is going to be through the roof, and I’m going to try to match that. We will definitely compete against each other, and I think that can only help.
You can read more from Robertson in Heika’s interview with him here.
Around the League
For fans of the other teams, Down Goes Brown offers his suggestions on who to root for:
Habs or Lightning, who you got? If you haven't made your mind up yet, I came up with a pick for each of the other 30 fan bases in my annual rooting guide to the Stanley Cup final.https://t.co/OI0Dviygho pic.twitter.com/EbXhzBd9VV— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) June 28, 2021
Whereas the Lightning had already won the Cup last year (grumble grumble), Canadiens veterans are hoping to finally get their name etched in silver:
“This is for them at this point.”— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 28, 2021
Carey Price and Shea Weber have given their heart and soul to the Canadiens over the years. And they might never get a better chance to win the #StanleyCup than the one that’s currently in front of them.
Casting a shadow over the Final, however, is the ongoing Chicago Blackhawks scandal concerning unreported cases of sexual assault back in 2010:
Former Blackhawks player: ‘Every guy on the team knew’ about video coach’s alleged sexual assault https://t.co/Z1S3Adr8m0— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) June 25, 2021
The Blackhawks upper brass held a meeting about the reports, but the accused remained with the team until the end of the playoffs, and was given a positive reference letter for his next job with a high school hockey team:
A former Chicago Blackhawks associate coach has confirmed that a meeting took place during the 2010 NHL playoffs in which the team’s management discussed the alleged sexual assault of two Blackhawks players.— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) June 26, 2021
Story from @rwesthead: https://t.co/AudysKym4q pic.twitter.com/xzi29rPKqb
Canadiens GM Mac Bergevin, who worked for the Blackhawks at the time, said that he was not involved with the meeting and was unaware of the allegations until recently:
Marc Bergevin said he was unaware of Brad Aldrich allegations while w/ the Blackhawks— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) June 27, 2021
A player on 2010 team told me there were rumors about Aldrich, but his departure was never communicated. Aldrich showed up for Stanley Cup photos then wasn’t seen again. https://t.co/xcUD3lKovV
Finally, there are no words:
The players and staff of the NHLPA extend their deepest condolences to David Pastrnak and Rebecca Rohlsson on the loss of their newborn son, Viggo.— NHLPA (@NHLPA) June 28, 2021