Dallas Stars Daily Links: A New Hope For Stephen Johns, And The Stars’ Defense

Sean Shapiro picks up the next thread in the defender’s injury saga. Plus, the offer-sheet market gets interesting, Roberto Luongo hangs up his pads (literally), and more.

The Dallas Stars’ best prospects are in town this week, but the biggest story from their annual meet-up is about a veteran, writes Sean Shapiro.

Shapiro is at the Stars’ Prospect Development Camp in Frisco, where Stephen Johns is doing full drills for the first time since training camp in Boise last September. Different Stars personnel have different views on the status of the defender’s recovery from post-traumatic headaches, Shapiro reports. But, he adds, there’s no way this isn’t positive news:

He’s skating alongside prospects this week, many of whom will never play for the Stars, but this is a chance to compete at full speed against players giving maximum effort – a rarity in late June.

This is not an overly physical camp; there won’t be many hits. But it serves as a good test case for where Johns is in his progression towards potentially playing during the 2019-20 season.

Johns has elected not to talk to the media about his status — there are other steps he wants to take first — but he told Stars coach Jim Montgomery that he felt good after skating for close to 90 minutes on Tuesday. He also looked like himself and shared some moments of levity with the prospects, at one point trying to shoot pucks out of mid-air (similar to skeet shooting) with Jason Robertson.

Sean has much more from a busy week, including an exchange of compliments from incipient Hall of Famers Guy Carbonneau and Sergei Zubov, a Jordie Benn sighting (!), and this update:

Former Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is a volunteer goalie coach this week at development camp, I joked with Stars goalie coach Jeff Reese that he was an intern while watching one of the sessions. I’ve got a story coming later today on Lehtonen – stay tuned.

Duck behind the paywall to check it out. [The Athletic DFW]

Stars Stuff

Confirmed: The Stars are in on the Joe Pavelski market, as the San Jose Sharks’ captain makes the rounds during the UFA talking period.

Athletic colleague Saad Yousuf found this an opportune time to revisit Sean’s book, and the lopsided trade that brought Zubie to Dallas at Carbo’s urging.

Speaking of Hall of Famers, Mike Modano was predictably enthused about the guys who will be joining him there.

Around The League(s)

Is there still room for bridge deals with a class of super-talented RFAs? Elliotte Friedman talks about it, plus the rumors connecting Corey Perry to Dallas.

Sebastian Aho is one of the biggest stars of the 2019 RFA class, and he’s reportedly eager to re-up with the Carolina Hurricanes – so this is getting interesting.

Aho is being touted as possibly the prime candidate for an offer sheet in a group full of them. Don’t rule it out, is what Pierre is saying.

Meanwhile, the Canes are doing other work, with a confirmed trade to bring over center Erik Haula (and his cap hit) from the Vegas Golden Knights.

Roberto Luongo is hanging up his goalie pads, and of course he announced it on Twitter.

He also wrote an open letter to his fans:

Lu’s retirement brings an end to one of the NHL’s greatest careers, and probably makes him the greatest goalie never to win a Stanley Cup.

There are also some interesting cap implications for both the Florida Panthers and the Vancouver Canucks.

Fans talk all the time about trading that big contract that no longer seems worth it, but how hard is it to do? Rory Boylen looks at some of the biggest.


There are some nice souvenirs coming out of Prospect Development Camp. Collect ’em all!