Dallas Stars Daily Links: Hockey is a Family

Also in today's links: a happy update for a young Caps fan, near dominance by Dallas youth hockey, and the droolworthiness of the odds of getting Connor McDavid to play with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

People often say that hockey is like a family.

It seems especially so in the more non-traditional hockey markets. You end up finding people who like hockey like you and you feel like you've found a long-lost brother or sister. You both watch this glorious sport and you live it together.

And when tragedy strikes in the hockey community, that family feeling is pronounced tenfold.

The Dallas Stars have been an integral part of Don Widdicombe's life. For the past 20 or so years, he's seen it all at the entrance to the Stars' locker room.

From riding bikes with Ludwig and about 13 other players, to the team's Stanley Cup win in 1999, to the many alumni association hockey games, the retirement of center Mike Modano in 2011 and his eventual No. 9 jersey retirement ceremony in 2014, Widdicombe has been there for it all.

After 20 years of following the team, by September 2013, Widdicombe had watched his Stars face plenty of trials and tribulations. Little did he know that he would be facing the biggest one of his own.

"It was kind of a shock," he admitted when doctors announced the cancer diagnosis. "The team, once they found out - I'm kind of a private person, I don't like to announce stuff like that - I tried to keep the spirit of the team up. I wanted to keep their heads up and worry about the next game because you can't change the past."

Little did the Stars know last night that Widdicombe would be there on duty, just like every other home game night.

"I'm going to be sneaking down," he said. "The players don't know that I'm coming. And I'm going to get them on the ice just like I do at home."

That's why we fall in love with this game and this team. That's why we're still here, day in and day out. That's why we're family.


Did you know: camels store fat, not water, in their humps. Today's hump day links stores a Peverely story, an update on #pray4bman, and more fatty goodness.

Rich Peverley is preparing for any road his future takes, including either the coaching or management side of hockey. [Puck Daddy]

Six year old Capitals fan Bensten was severely injured in a car accident, and it spawned the #pray4bman movement. Good news -- he's coming home! [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

Youth hockey in Dallas had a fantastic showing in the Rocky Mountain District championship, though their sweep was ruined by Colorado. [USA Hockey]

Connor McDavid with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin would make every Stars fan drool. What are the odds that Dallas could win the draft lottery? [Puck Daddy]

David Schlemko hopes his time with the Calgary Flames puts his career back on track. [Globe & Mail]

I don't know why you'd put acupuncture pins in your ears and that mental image gives me the heebie jeebies. Flyers goalie Steve Mason apparently does this and still looks amazing as a brick wall in last night's game. [Delaware Online] Then proceeds to basically call his team out for not matching his effort. [Broad Street Hockey]

For the creatively inclined, and all those who remember the horror of the Buffaslug, here's a chance to design a new third jersey for the Buffalo Sabres. [Die by the Blade]

Many people have debated a change in the NHL's point system. Here's another take. [Too Many Men on the Site]

Sport culture still has a ways to go to be the feel good family environment we all imagine, as stories like this continue to come to light. Be careful with this one, for those sensitive to triggers on this topic, as it details allegations that a junior hockey team may have been part of or witnesses to massive sexual abuse at a party. [Deadspin]