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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Break Up To Make Up?

Say it with me: Jason Robertson is rejoining the Dallas Stars’ starting lineup sooner rather than later. But as it turns out, his scheduled absence from training camp is having knock-on effects that – wait for it – just might end up helping the team.

So says Saad Yousuf, who’s been covering Stars training camp for The Athletic. He does have receipts, and Roope Hintz’s reunion with Denis Gurianov is one of them. Remember when those two were the hammer and tongs of the Texas Stars forward corps? That chemistry appears to have survived intact, and is now being helped along by new teammate and (at least temporary) linemate Mason Marchment:

The Hintz line looked great the first two days of camp as the team focused on specific concepts Pete DeBoer looked to instill in his early days as head coach. It worked on breakouts, puck battles and more. At the end of the first practice, DeBoer, who is trying to avoid singling out players or combinations, couldn’t help but marvel at Hintz and compliment his line….

Most just assumed the top line, given how effective it was last season, would remain together and the second line would feature Marchment, [Tyler] Seguin and Gurianov. That might still happen once Robertson is back in camp, but there is a legitimate question as to whether the Stars would be a better team if last year’s top line were broken up.

Strong words, but Saad points out that the big Finn is the potential keystone for the Stars’ offense writ large:

Not to make training camp a complete Hintz lovefest, but the Finnish centerman really is at the heart of the team’s flexibility. He was good two years ago before Robertson and Pavelski were his linemates; he was good with them, and he’s good now. Not only is he good, but he also makes everybody around him better. If you’re the Stars, the question must be asked: How can you best utilize this asset?

Marchment has one good NHL season under his belt, albeit a very good one last year in Florida. The Panthers, though, were a high-flying offense no matter who the player was or what line he was on. Even with DeBoer and a new staff, the offensive riches won’t be so abundant in Dallas. Then there’s Gurianov. For whatever difficulties he might have had with the previous coaching staff, Gurianov is still a player who needs help. That’s not a bad thing — most players do — but who better to help him than Hintz, who has been on a line with him before, has defensive abilities that can help cover for Gurianov’s blind spots and can create offense on his own?

There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]


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