It’s the last week of July 2022, and the Dallas Stars still have a lot of weird offseason tension in the room. But one of the biggest sources is new head coach Pete DeBoer – or, rather, what he’ll have to work with and what he’ll do as a result.
That, at least, can be examined and understood. Saad Yousuf of The Athletic has taken a long look at DeBoer’s history and hires, and he’s come up with his own interpretation of what they will mean for the Victory Green Gang, starting with the offense:
DeBoer understood when taking the job that there would be little room for roster upgrades in his first offseason at the helm. Aside from adding [Mason] Marchment, the Stars didn’t do much to improve the roster this summer. That shines a spotlight on how DeBoer will choose to differently utilize the pieces he has in order to be more effective, especially offensively, than what the Stars have been.
One notable departure from recent years is that DeBoer does not account for a designated checking line. In past seasons, Radek Faksa has centered a checking line that most prominently featured Blake Comeau and Andrew Cogliano at one point and, last season, featured Luke Glendening and Michael Raffl. DeBoer’s approach is to construct lines that offer enough confidence to be able to be on the ice in offensive and defensive situations.
Special teams could be trickier. With the departure of cornerstone blueliner John Klingberg all but assured at this point, DeBoer has some juggling to do:
Klingberg has been the longtime quarterback of the power play in Dallas so his departure is going to be a significant change. Miro Heiskanen will slot in on the top power-play unit. [Jason] Robertson, [Roope] Hintz and [Joe] Pavelski are all expected to maintain their places on the top unit as well. [Tyler] Seguin is a decent bet for the fifth spot on the top unit but that’s something that will be worked out in training camp.
The second unit holds much more intrigue. For one, [new assistant coach Steve] Spott prefers to use one defenseman and four forwards on both units. While it doesn’t mean that it’ll always be structured that way, especially situationally — such as a late change — that will be the preference. Last season, the Stars had four viable defensemen options for the power play and the previous regime’s solution was to hand the keys to the top unit to Klingberg, to allow Ryan Suter the point on the second unit and to play Heiskanen on the half-wall on the second unit. Thomas Harley was the odd man out.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
“Peaky Blinders” or “Stranger Things”? Get to know your Stars prospects (and find out which one is binge-watching “Friends”).
We asked our Development Camp crew what they’re binge watching right now.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 26, 2022
You may be surprised at a few of their answers pic.twitter.com/hPPB6mlnPN
Meanwhile, the team’s outreach to underrepresented communities has been noted, and honored.
Around The Leagues
The Hockey Canada scandal is blowing up, and it’s making an ugly noise.
A lawyer hired by Hockey Canada to investigate claims of alleged sexual assault involving 2018 World Junior team players testified she’s overseeing a rekindled investigation and is in the process of scheduling player interviews.— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) July 26, 2022
Story from @rwesthead: https://t.co/LjFolYibVQ pic.twitter.com/mJyQAMoJZY
Rick Westhead, who has made a journalistic mission out of surfacing player-safety issues, has been on it from the beginning. He’s a great follow if you want to keep track.
MPs preparing to question Hockey Canada officials on Wednesday about their response to a 2018 alleged sexual assault are unaware of how much HC paid to settle a lawsuit.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) July 26, 2022
I'm told that this detail was redacted before MPs were provided with the settlement documents and related NDA.
Speaking of player safety, this may seem like a “Pope is Catholic, story at 10” moment, but it’s a pretty (read: really) big deal.
In the United Kingdom, the dominoes are falling already.
More than 100 former rugby players are taking legal action against World Rugby and the national governing bodies of England and Wales over what they say was a failure to protect them from permanent injury caused by repeated concussions. https://t.co/XMxt7lRfLH— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) July 25, 2022
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
You know how your parents always said you have to plan ahead for your future happiness? Well....
IT'S HERE!!!— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) July 21, 2022
The 2022-23 Regular Season Schedule has arrived! Check out all the dates, times and opponents coming up this season!
We CAN'T WAIT to see y'all #IsItOctoberYet
Meanwhile, the Cedar Park crew has been bringing home those offseason awards, too. Congratulations, Texas Stars!
BEST IN THE WEST— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) July 22, 2022
We have been awarded the Digital Media Excellence Award for the Western Conference!
BIG congrats to our digital team on all their hard work this season!
Read More: https://t.co/P2967iCgm9 pic.twitter.com/NT4k2kSqAC