Jamie Benn has declared that he and his teammates “have that feeling” about the lineup they will take in to their next campaign. He sat down with Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika for a wide-ranging discussion of the coming season, sports in general, and his evolution as a player – including the likelihood that he will start at center in 2021-22:
...I look at it as playing the same way as far as skating or physical play. I feel like I can control the game more — a little better through the middle and touch the puck a little more. I think I’m going to start there next year and then I’ll just try to keep improving at the position.
[Lines are] up to the coaching staff. We’re fortunate that we have a lot of players who are comfortable playing a lot of different positions, so it’ll be like it has been in the past, where you’ll see a lot of different line combinations. If guys are injured or coming in and out of the lineup, we’re fortunate to have so many versatile players.
The Captain also offered some insight into how the team has changed during the pandemic:
It was definitely different. We’ve got a tight group and we’ve been tight for a while now. All of this probably made us even closer. We had a group chat going on when we were apart, and then living in that bubble, you get close with each other. It was fun to get to know each other even more, especially for the young guys. It was a good experience.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
But how does the Ryan Suter signing look to people who aren’t Stars partisans? Let’s ask our panel of experts (OK, Adam Proteau).
Meet the newest member of the Stars family – and give a shout to his parents, Radek Faksa and Dominika Matusinska.
Welcome to the world my son❤️— Radek Faksa (@RadekFaksa) August 4, 2021
We love you so much❤️
Elliot Radek Faksa was born on 31st of July in Dallas
Thank you @DMatusinska for this cutest angel You were doing so amazing the whole time pic.twitter.com/W6qzsRaGQv
Around The Leagues
Maybe it should be noted that Suter-to-Dallas didn’t make NHL.com’s panel...or maybe not.
Sean Shapiro’s business-of-hockey beat leads him to the story of what the league really fears – that it will be a while before teams recoup the $3.5 billion lost during the pandemic.
NHL players owe NHL owners approximately $1 billion, until that's paid back the salary cap crunch will continue. I spoke to NHL executives about fears, hopes, and the state of finances, even with a new TV deal, for the NHL coming out of pandemic https://t.co/oJd7j1CB1G— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) August 6, 2021
Possibly the biggest real news out of any hockey league right now: The AHL has revised its Calder Cup playoff bracketing.
It’s not surprising that Jamie Benn would make a recap of best baseball goals, but did Mattias Janmark and Colton Sceviour learn to bat from their former captain?
Meanwhile, the Stars love is everywhere as Anton Khudobin gets his own sparkle reel.
Matiss Kivlenieks probably saved some lives as he lost his own on July 4th. Now a former teammate is changing his number in Kivvi’s honor.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Big breaking news from the Texas Stars: Curtis McKenzie is back.
Your Friday is about to get a whole lot better...— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) August 6, 2021
Former Stars captain and Calder Cup Champion, Curtis McKenzie, is returning to the #txstars for 2 more years!
Ticket info: https://t.co/3oIKJ61vGO
Presented by #bluecornharvest pic.twitter.com/gfOjlA1YZ7
The T-Stars keep getting work done – they’ve also re-signed center and alternate captain Josh Melnick.
INKED!✍ Josh Melnick has signed a one-year AHL contract with the #txstars!— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) August 4, 2021
Welcome back to the 5-1-2, Josh!
Read more: https://t.co/OVfleSOmaN
Transaction presented by #BlueCornHarvest pic.twitter.com/g8ydz9x6Am
Riley Tufte is doing work this summer, too – in Da Beauty League, where he plays on Team Jimmy John’s with Alex Goligoski and K’Andre Miller.
I’ll just leave this here. Discuss, and enjoy.
Fill in the blank:— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 5, 2021
My favorite Stars memory was when _____________