Dallas Stars Daily Links: Will Jhonas Enroth Test Free Agency?
The Stars' current Swedish goalie could join the long line of former backup backstops come July 1st. Also, Patrick Kane is good at everything, and the NHL is very lucky that Calgary got lucky in game three
Jhonas Enroth finished the season as the Stars' apparent number one goalie, although it's tough to believe that Lindy Ruff really would have flipped #s1 and #32 for any long span of time had Enroth been with the team since October. The reason for finally giving Enroth a few more minutes in net towards the tail end of the season was that the stats guys finally threw away their old swim timers and bought clocks, so why not use them? Also, and perhaps more importantly, Enroth was a pending UFA after coming over from the Buffalo Sabres, so why not see if he liked it enough in Dallas in order to stay on, should his performance merit an invitation to Victor E. Green's September training camp ping pong tournament? Never hurts to know what you have.
In the Stars' case, things seemed at least somewhat in their favor. After all, Enroth was coming over from the Sabres, so getting a chance to play for an NHL team must have been a big thrill, right? Well, here's SportsNet translating an article using Google:
Enroth opened up on the Sabres’ frustrating season, one that saw him traded to the Dallas Stars for goaltender Anders Lindback in February, and his hopes heading into free agency this summer in an interview with a Swedish website.
"They had only one goal…The goal was to come last," Enroth said (via Google Translate) of the Sabres’ abysmal season.
"I was not too happy with it [the trade] when it happened, but when I look back on it now, I'm very happy that I was traded," Enroth said.
Quick note that the linked article was clearly just haphazardly tossed through the Google Garbler or whatever they call it. I think it's like Google Wave for language translations, I dunno.
Anyhow, it seems a bit odd that Enroth would actually dislike a trade out of the fetid mass of loss that Buffalo, and it seems even odder that he disliked the trade before it happened, since anyone would think that such feelings would really bubble to the surface after playing behind the Stars' defense last season.
Anyhow, Mr. Ewok himself came over, did all right, and kind of convinced us at times that he wouldn't be terrible as a backup or even a 1B. He did this mostly by being just that: not terrible. And now that free agency is less than two months away, it's hard to blame him for looking at the playoff teams this year and envisioning himself becoming the feel-good story behind Robin Lehner next season.
The 26-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Although he hasn't ruled out a return Dallas, Enroth intends to test the market for the best opportunity. "I feel at there are other teams where there is greater opportunity to play more games."
Anything can happen, but generally "test the market" means that a player wants to be wanted. And in Enroth's own words (via the Garbler), he is looking for "greater opportunity to play more games." (What, 13 games wasn't enough?) And any goalie who's passed through Dallas lately knows that it's going to take another calamitous season by Lehtonen (or an equally catastrophic injury) to free up more than 20 games a season. Granted, Enroth was on pace to play more than most backups have for a while in this town, but even Jhonas probably wouldn't bet on Lehtonen playing marginally enough two seasons in a row to surrender more than 30 games. Enroth didn't quite prove that he could be a quality starter sans the score-effects distortion that happens in Buffalo (hi, Lindback!), but he did whet his appetite for more than a backup role, and it appears that he's willing to go elsewhere to get it.......
@Sportsnet that's horrible, you gotta translate the whole article and not just take some pieces out of the article like that.— Jhonas Enroth (@JEnroth125) May 6, 2015
So I guess things are still up in the air. And that's no surprise, really. Even if Enroth does test free agency, you really don't want to take options off the table prematurely. Besides, there's little doubt that Enroth would be willing to go back to Buffalo (or Dallas, for that matter) if the offer is good and he feels comfortable with the situation. Maybe Dallas shakes things up, or maybe Jack Campbell's timeline changes; maybe Kari Lehtonen is converted to defense and the Stars just play without a goalie next season and score 450 goals while giving up 440. No one really knows anything until Enroth knows what he's going to do and lets us know, and I don't know when that is. Probably, like last year, we won't know until July 1st.
(Also, come on, SportsNet.)
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Jamie Benn is doing well after having his second (and less-injured) hip surgeried. Current recovery time goes into the first month of the season, but his young (relatively) age may expedite the healing process. Oh, to be young again. [DMN]
Jack Campbell will be starting again today for the US against Belarus. (Rooooooouuuuuus!) [Twitter]
If you want to buy some Benn Art Ross SWAG (Pucks and Plaques), the Hangar has some exclusive and limited merchandise you can spend your hard-earned money on, you bunch of suckers, you. /buys twenty pucks. I think they're only available at the Hangar, so contact those folks if you wanna drop some coin or even buy something after you pick up all your coins. [@Dallas Stars]
Mark Stepneski has more on your Dallas Stars players at the Champeenships. [Stars]
The Rangers are threatening to leave the dance ahead of schedule after falling to the Caps last night. Washington leads the series 3-1 thanks to the youngest player in Caps playoff history, Andre Burakovsky. [NHL]
The Canadiens had their hearts broken last night after giving up the game-winning goal at 19:59 of the third period to Tyler "too small to draft" Johnson. [NHL]
Speaking of backups, the Preds re-signed their own cheap, young backup to a 1-year/2-way deal. [Predators]
Patrick Kane: really good hockey player, really amazing playoff performer, low-rated Uber user for some reason. Still, those dangles. [CBS Sports]
James Mirtle writes that the NHL is very, very lucky that Calgary managed to pull off a win in game three, because surely a "very possibly it was in but we're saying no goal" situation would just be the worst thing for Calgary and has never happened before. [Globe and Mail]
Seriously, look at this. It's tough to say what is "conclusively conclusive," but still. Looks like a goal, right? [Pro Hockey Talk]
Finally, here is a great longform piece on how the big Mayweather/Pacquiao fight last weekend was one of the worst things for boxing (and for everyone) that could have happened. Really quality writing here. [SB Nation]