Dallas Stars Daily Links: Fourth Line Centers

Who should man the middle spot for the Stars’ grit-and-grind squad? Plus, a few new contracts, a new broadcast team, and more!

Happy Hump Day, friends! There were a few signings over the last couple of days, but other than that, not exactly a lot of notable stuff going on in the NHL world right now. Have a great rest of the week!

Fourth lines in today’s NHL aren’t filled with enforcers like decades past, but the current players who fill the line can still provide a lot of value to a team. Typically a team wants a fourth liner to do at least one of the following things: provide energy, have decent possession numbers and/or face-off ability, be a power play or penalty kill specialist, or be a younger player who is learning the ropes in the league. That’s not an exhaustive list, of course, but it’s a good starting point. Which leads to the following question — who will emerge from development camp as the Dallas Stars’ opening night fourth line this season?:

That leaves an interesting mix for the fourth line. Among the forwards who could be battling are Devin Shore, Brett Ritchie, Jason Dickinson, Remi Elie, Gemel Smith and Roope Hintz. Ritchie and Elie are primarily wingers. Shore, Dickinson, Smith and Hintz can play center or wing. If you were one of those hybrids, wouldn’t centering that fourth line be a real prize?

Each of those players brings a different skill set to the table, along with a varying amount of “we’ve seen what he can and can’t do” or “he has so much potential!” Whomever emerges, though, will definitely be valued by the head coach:

“With the relentless style of game I want my team to play, we have to have four lines playing,” Montgomery said. “That’s going to be exciting for all of those guys, because the opportunity to get in and play somewhere between eight to 12 minutes, that’s great for young players. The players that seize those spots with effort and execution, they will be rewarded.”

See more from Mike Heika at his usual spot, where he dives deeper into the centers and talks a lot about Deep Purple. [NHL]

Stars Stuff

Uh oh, in the NBA you could get “in trouble” for tampering for this kind of stuff. However, this is awesome:

Mike Heika takes a look at how and why Jason Spezza could bounce back this year. [NHL]

While it’s fun to imagine what could have been if Jarome Iginla hadn’t been traded from the Stars, it’s also hard to argue with the results that Joe Nieuwendyk brought to town. [NHL]

Also, in case you missed the news on Monday, we are so pumped for Josh and Razor in the booth:

Around the League

Transactions and such:

  • The New York Rangers signed RFA Kevin Hayes to a one-year deal, which I saw described as “intriguing” on the Twitter landscape. [NHL]
  • Miikka Salomaki inked a two-year contract with the Nashville Predators. [NHL]
  • Ryan Spooner avoided arbitration and also signed with the Rangers. [NHL]/

I feel like most internet rankings are supposed to spark debate, but I don’t feel like this one will really do that:

Many hockey podcasts are going on summer vacation. Luckily, there might be some sweet audio action from around these parts sometime soon:

I’m guessing the project manager is in a little hot water here:

I can’t see how the NHL or the league commissioner could mess something up with this at all (extremely sarcastic voice being used):

I am all about the “people being nice to animals” stories: