Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Other New Coach

It’s time for Derek Laxdal to get some time in the spotlight. Plus, pregame activities at the Winter Classic, the top UFAs for 2020, and more.

If you’ve read an article about the Dallas Stars in the past week, odds are it’s about either Jim Montgomery or his replacement, Rick Bowness. But what about the other Stars coaches, specifically Derek Laxdal?

After spending six years in the AHL as head coach of the Texas Stars, Laxdal finally got the call-up and will now be running the power play in Dallas. And considering the Stars rank in the bottom third of the league in terms of PP%, he’s got a lot of work to do:

“If you look at the game Tuesday night, we had some good looks off the rush and hit a couple of posts. In zone, we were just a little disorganized,” Laxdal said. “So if we can clean up the execution in the (offensive) zone, these guys are good hockey players. Once you run your set plays, you let them play hockey and these guys can make plays at high speed.”

Unlike most new coaches, Laxdal will have the advantage of being familiar with many of the Stars’ players from when they were in Cedar Park. Jason Dickinson is just one of several players excited to have Laxdal joining the staff:

“He was really good with my development,” Dickinson said. “He encouraged me to be what I was and not what I wasn’t. You’ve got to find that balance, because some guys like myself figured, `Oh if I score points, I’m going to make the NHL,’ and that’s not always the case. You’ve got to find that balance, and he really helped me embrace that.”

You can read more from Mike Heika here.

Stars Stories

Wanna hear more about Laxdal? Here’s an interview with him from yesterday:

And here’s what Rick Bowness had to say:

Tyler Seguin opens up about Jim Montgomery’s firing in his most recent interview on The Ticket:

Going to the Winter Classic? Here’s what’s going on outside of the game itself:

Central Census

It was a busy Thursday for the Central Division, even if Dallas — and the Colorado Avalanche — missed the memo:

  • The Nashville Predators continue to slip in the standings, dropping a close 4-3 decision against the Buffalo Sabres. [On the Forecheck]
  • Elsewhere, the St. Louis Blues tried to wear out the Vegas Golden Knights for Dallas tonight, winning 4-2. [Knights on Ice]
  • In a massive shootout, the Minnesota Wild edged out a 6-5 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • The Chicago Blackhawks meanwhile got blown out by the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. What could be worse? [Second City Hockey]
  • Losing 5-2 to the Detroit Red Wings, snapping their 12-game losing streak, like the Winnipeg Jets did — that’s worse. [Winging it in Motown]/

Jamie and Jordie Benn narrowly miss the cut-off for “Team Brother” in Down Goes Brown’s latest piece:

There haven’t been many player suspensions this year, but is that a good thing?

It’s never too early to start looking ahead towards Free Agency:

Stars prospect Thomas Harley was one of several players cut by Team Canada yesterday:

This is a disturbing story:

Finally, former Dallas Stars Legend Tim Thomas opened up about his history with concussions and brain damage yesterday: