Dallas Stars Daily Links: Jack Campbell Right Where He Should Be
The Stars' goalie-to-be-we-hope had a very nice day yesterday, picking up a W for Team USA. What does the future hold for Soupy? Also, a former Star scored a hat trick, and Ovechkin's one-timers from the blue line without a screen down low are still ridiculous
Do you grit your teeth every time someone mentions Cam Fowler? Probably yes, if you dislike the Ducks as much as most human people do, and probably even moreso if Fowler's name takes you back to the draft of yesteryear when the Stars decided that, while you never take a goalie in the first round, this time was different, and it might work for us.
It's easy to forget a few things about Jack Campbell. First, the fact that he is still three years younger than Marty Turco was when he made his debut; Second, that Campbell possesses an actual mutant superpower that will be revealed in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse film next summer, sure to be a big hit for all ages, get your tickets now; Third, that Campbell actually is in a really good spot for an organizational goalie. I mean, just listen to this:
Campbell is a decorated American competitor, with three gold medals, including, notably, a gold with the American team in the 2010 world junior championship.
That was also five years ago.
Since then, Campbell was made the No. 11 overall pick by the Dallas Stars in 2010 and has been battling through a rocky start to his professional career. He spent parts of four seasons with the AHL Texas Stars, with a pedestrian .907 save percentage this past year. He also spent seven games in the ECHL.
Watching from the stands, Stars assistant GM Les Jackson said he was glad to see Campbell get the start against a team loaded with NHL-level snipers.
It was a great test for a player the Stars would love to see return to the prospect who wowed the hockey world in his draft year.
"He’s maturing. He’s in a good place," Jackson said a few minutes before the game. "He’s still a young kid learning. I think a lot of people think he should be in the NHL. He’s in the place where he should be, playing there." [ESPN]
That comes with the usual Les Jackson caveat, but it says something that the Stars are excited to see Soupy playing on a big stage and not terrified of the potential erosion of confidence or musculature. Goalies are each inimitable and utterly unfathomable, but Campbell is still doing okay, rocky history notwithstanding. Heck, coveted free agent BU goalie Matt O'Connor is only a month younger than Campbell. Wouldn't you rather have the goalie who's been in the organization, played in the NHL, and been brought along at a (sometimes herky-Jyrki) pace of the organization's choosing?
Well, guess what, you don't have a choice, because the Stars aren't signing O'Connor. Besides, it's not like the Stars are going to just toss Campbell on the bench this year and let him sink or swim. At least, that's not what Les Jackson is saying. Again, from Craig Custance:
An offseason from Kari Lehtonen has thrown the future of the Dallas Stars goaltending into doubt. If they had a decent backup, they might have been a playoff team this season. Goalie will no doubt be an area of focus for GM Jim Nill in the offseason.
It also creates a bit of an opening for Campbell, though Jackson warned the club will continue to take a patient approach with the 23-year-old Campbell.
"He’s a consideration. He’s better off getting games in the American League level, that’s better than getting the odd game in the NHL level. It wouldn’t make sense for him to sit," Jackson said. "Very few guys are like [Carey] Price who come in and play. Marty Turco, when he joined us, he made it when he was 26.
If you can trust this statement, it certainly seems like the Stars are planning on finding a 2015-16 backup that isn't currently playing for Team USA. Whether that be fellow Worlds player Jhonas Enroth (SWE) or kindly German Thomas Greiss--note to Jim Nill: I will not be happy about any other backup--the Stars seem much more likely to take the backup role more seriously this coming year. That's (we hope) good news for Dallas, but even better news for Campbell, who really does seem ready at last to put in a Klingbergian year of ascent in a lower league before finally showing up ready to rock and roll in the NHL like a good old American boy. Is that what the American Don Cherry would say? I don't think we really have one, but probably he would say that.
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Lady on elevator yesterday each time the doors opened: "Happy Star Wars Day!" I got on the elevator at the sixth floor, and we stopped four times on the way down. I got pretty sick of Star Wars day. I mean, I love the Borg and everything, but come on.
Monday was a good day for Dallas Stars players at Worlds. Esa Lindell scored a goal and two assists, and Jokipakka scored another goal of his own in Finland's victory. Seguin finally broke through with a goal for Canada as well, and Klingberg racked up another assist in Sweden's (and Jhonas Enroth's) shutout of poor Latvia. Antoine Roussel also got tossed from France's game for protesting a call, so that is kind of like a point, in a way. Oh, by the way, Jack Campbell led the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to victory in spite of an own goal by Seth Jones. [Stars]
Seriously, Esa Lindell has been really, really good for Finland, who beat Norway yesterday. He and his "booming shot" have been one of the best players among the Finnish comrades in the tournament. Fun things to read here, and thanks again to denniso for pointing this out to me. You all make me job easier than falling asleep on a giant pat of warm butter. [IIHF]
Here are some potential free agents. The Stars might target one or two of them, but I don't really "need" most of these guys, y'know? [DMN]
Another [former] Star also enjoyed the Worlds yesterday as Loui "Louie" Eriksson potted a hat trick against whichever terrible team Canada Sweden was playing. [NESN]
Braden Holtby outdueled the King last night, but credit to Henrik Lundqvist for stopping a couple of Ovechkin missiles. The Rangers would fall 1-0 on a Jay Beagle goal from below the red line. [NHL]
Speaking of the Caps, here is a fabulous article about how Ovechkin is actually living up to his record-setting 13-year contract. Ovechkin is incredible. [Globe and Mail]
Timely after a 1-0 playoff game last night: Jack Todd says the NHL needs more goals, badly. [Montreal Gazette]
The Devils have hired Ray Shero to be their new GM, and no one really saw it coming. Greg Wyshynski has a very good piece about what this means for the Devils after the 28-year (!) stewardship of Lou Lamoriello. [Puck Daddy]
Kerry Fraser won't be surprised if life gets tougher for Brandon Prust and the Canadiens after the Brad Watson spat. Not too much upside to ripping an official like that these days unless you're playing the long game. Brandon Prust is not playing the long game. [TSN]
Sean McIndoe lists the 25 stages of #sportsthings that happen during a playoff series. Good stuff, this. [Grantland]
Finally, remember the time when Loui Eriksson had three breakaways in a row and then circled the net three times before scoring on Carey Price? Well...