Dallas Stars Daily Links: ESPN's Craig Custance Picks Stars As 2017 Stanley Cup Contenders

Craig Custance says the Stars' speedy offensive game will make them Cup contenders in 2017. Plus, good wishes for Dave Strader, and a stats-based view of why Phil Kessel deserved the Conn Smythe Trophy.

The Pittsburgh Penguins' run to the 2016 Stanley Cup may have demonstrated that the Dallas Stars and their rapid-fire offensive game could be leading the way in 2017, according to ESPN's Craig Custance.

Like that of the newly crowned Stanley Cup champions, the Stars' swift offense proves that speed kills, Custance says:

"The Stars make this list because they have the kind of speed in their lineup that would stack up with the best in the Eastern Conference," Custance said.

But the Stars still have some work to do this offseason.

"GM Jim Nill has to address his goaltending for the Stars to be considered legitimate Stanley Cup contenders," Custance said, "but speed is such a weapon these days in the NHL that Dallas is one of the most dangerous teams in the league."

The full article is behind ESPN's Insider paywall, but you can read more excerpts courtesy of The Dallas Morning News. [SportsDayDFW]


While we're on the subject, Dave Lozo has ranked all 30 teams' chances of winning the Cup next season. [The Comeback]

Mike Heika discusses how good Stephen Johns and Esa Lindell could become, and how trends toward the speed game and the two-goalie system could play into the Stars' hands next season. [SportsDayDFW]

Daddy's home: NHL on NBC featured Jason Demers as yesterday's UFA of the Day.

Good wishes are pouring in for Stars play-by-play announcer Dave Strader. Dallas Cowboys broadcasting legend Brad Sham sent his support:

..as did Dallas Mavericks and FC Dallas PxP man Mark Followill:

Razor broadcasted his best wishes as well:

And Bob McKenzie tweeted his support:

ICYMI: Sidney Crosby had a reason why he wanted Trevor Daley to get the first handoff of the Stanley Cup. Read about it here.

Mike Modano, who knows something about Dales himself, offered this.

There's another side to every great Stanley Cup moment: For the San Jose Sharks, losing the series at home was cold comfort at best. [San Jose Mercury News]

If you need a good laugh this morning, read this entry from Dan Saraceni (channeling the spirt of Steve Simmons) on why the Toronto Maple Leafs need to trade for Phil Kessel now. [Lighthouse Hockey]

And if you're wondering why Phil didn't win the Conn Smythe Trophy, Ryan Lambert is, too.

No one who actually plays beside Kessel understands why he attracts so much grief – they're just glad The Thrill has finally hoisted Lord Stanley.

The postseason didn't come soon enough for the NHL's Canadian teams, who just suffered through their first playoffs shutout in 46 years and are already dreaming of draft-day glory. [Sportsnet]

Speaking of which, Larry Fisher has posted The Hockey Writers' fifth annual mock draft. [THW]

Twelve of the top 30 North Americans in the 2016 NHL Draft are from the United States. Joe Yerdon examines how Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Jakob Chychrun and many other top players reflect the growth of U.S. hockey, especially in the South and Southwest. [NHL]

It's official: Former Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo will join Ken Hitchcock's St. Louis Blues coaching team as his heir apparent. [ESPN]

Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks are expected to announce today that Randy Carlyle will return as head coach. [CBS Sports]

And Ottawa Senators legend Daniel Alfredsson is returning to the team next year as senior advisor of hockey operations. [CBC]

With public seating at Gordie Howe's Wednesday funeral expected to be at a premium, the Detroit Red Wings are urging fans to attend today's visitation at Joe Louis Arena.

Finally: Keeper of the Cup Philip Pritchard posts many great photos of Stanley's travels. Here's one of the latest. Enjoy.