With the opening days of Free Agency firmly in the rearview mirror, we are now in the dredges of the offseason. Nothing to do except wait for training camp, which will be as interesting as ever for the Dallas Stars.
Mike Heika sat down with head coach Rick Bowness to talk about the upcoming camp, which will be the first time the Stars’ coaching staff gets a good look at many of their new players:
“We don’t know [Jani] Hakanpaa, so we need to see a lot of him in camp. [Andreas] Borgman and [Alexander] Petrovic, we need to get to know them as well. That’ll go a long way in determining how it fits together. We have a very talented group of defensemen, and now we need to sort out how to best to use them.”
The defense has the most new faces, but many would argue the forwards need the most fine-tuning. With Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov expected to be healthy this year, the Stars’ Top 6 should improve, but it’s important to figure out who plays with whom:
“The only line I really have fixed in my head is the Robo-Hintz-Pavs [Jason Robertson-Roope Hintz-Joe Pavelski] line. After that, you start looking at duos and then try to see who the third guy could be on a line. Last year, we had Jamie [Benn] with Denis [Gurianov]. Do we go back to that? Should we have Seggy with Rads? So, who fits in with that? Jamie gives us the luxury of playing left wing or center. I know we would love to have him at center, but is that what works best? Tyler can play right wing or center. How do we make that work? That’s why camp is so important.”
You can read more from Bowness’s interview here.
Around the League
I haven’t looked into it yet, but seems like the Stars would do pretty well in this exercise, no?
It’s never too early to look ahead to the next NHL Entry Draft:
The #2022NHLDraft is loaded with talent, and the #HlinkaGretzkyCup in and put that on full display last week.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) August 9, 2021
Here's @StevenEllisTHN’s look at 10 of the best performers from this year's draft crop: https://t.co/jNIxzlm6am
Despite a rough 2020-21 season, Carter Hart landed himself a solid extension from the Philadelphia Flyers:
Carter Hart's three-year extension with #flyers carries a $3.979M AAV -- a nod to his sweater No. 79.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 9, 2021
...only to then be outdone by Igor Shesterkin and the New York Rangers:
Hearing Igor Shesterkin's new deal with #NYR is 4 years, $22.666 million. AAV of $5.65 million.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) August 9, 2021
That is the most money ever handed out - in AAV and total dollars - to an NHL goaltender on his second contract.
Greg Wyshynski breaks down each team’s offseason behind the paywall:
There were 8 teams that got an A-minus or better. There were 3 teams that got a D-plus ... or worse.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 9, 2021
My NHL offseason grades for all 32 teams. https://t.co/hvERA5iRdG
Team Canada has their Olympic coaching staff in place, and it is stacked:
Beijing2022 coaching staff ✅— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) August 9, 2021
Jon Cooper will lead Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team as head coach, working alongside assistants Bruce Cassidy, Peter DeBoer and Barry Trotz.@BCHockey_Source | @HEOhockey | @OHFHockey | @hockeymanitoba
Finally, contract negotiations are getting — *ahem* — “wild” with Minnesota and Kirill Kaprizov. You hate to see it?
A date and an 8-figure price tag have been added to the only leverage Kirill Kaprizov has in negotiations with the Wild.— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) August 10, 2021
Can Minnesota reach a deal with the restricted free agent before Sept. 1, or will he return to his former KHL team?
✍️ @RussoHockey https://t.co/AdVEKRzEUb