Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Opening-Night Forecast

Matthew DeFranks pieces together the Stars’ roster puzzle. Plus, Roman Josi’s big homecoming, Hockey Canada’s brand-new high in low, and more.

With two preseason games left to play, the Dallas Stars are getting ever closer to their final starting-roster decisions. And a handful of young players are trying to make those decisions as difficult as possible.

The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks took a long look at the current state of play and provided analysis, and a few predictions, in his latest Stars story. First up for evaluation are Wyatt Johnston and Fredrik Karlström:

Johnston deserves to get his nine-game tryout given his pedigree, his OHL season last year and his preseason this year. The Stars could even elongate his stay in the NHL by mixing in scratches to keep him around Dallas longer than nine games (if a teenager plays 10 NHL games, it burns the first year of their entry-level contract).

The Stars front office entered the season with big expectations for Karlström, expecting the 24-year-old Swedish winger to turn the corner and jump from the AHL to the NHL. Last season, his first in North America, included his NHL debut late in the season. The rangy forward can fill a role in the bottom-six as a checker and penalty killer that still has offensive ability.

Meanwhile, on defense, DeFranks foresees some tough decisions regarding Thomas Harley, Nils Lundkvist and Will Butcher:

Harley appeared poised to grab a sizable role on the blue line this year, but then the Stars traded for Lundkvist. Now, Harley’s seen his potential power play minutes evaporate, and the knock on him remains the same that it has been for years. The Stars want to see more defensive urgency from him to allow Harley to display his offensive skillset. The organization might want more time in the AHL for the former first-rounder.

Butcher is a little bit of a wild card for Dallas. He’s 27 years old, and was once a 44-point defenseman as a rookie in 2017-18 and has steadily declined. If the Stars believe he can be a frequent scratch and still be effective, he might grab the No. 7 role, based solely on the offensive ability that he’s shown before.

Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]

Stars Stuff

There are those who keep saying the Jason Robertson deal is imminent, and Elliotte Friedman is one of them...but there are caveats. Skip to about 30:30 for the pertinent part.

So what does the financial landscape look like for the Robo-deal to come? Matthew DeFranks provides the details.

Meanwhile, Jake Oettinger is as ready to play games that count as you are to watch him in action.

Around The Leagues

#Death Notes

Favorite son Roman Josi scored twice as the Nashville Predators took a 4-3 win over SC Bern in Switzerland.

Admit it, we’ve all wondered about this...and now it can be told.

Not much love for the Stars here, unless you count Miro Heiskanen as a very distant Norris Trophy runner-up...but it’s always better if they underestimate you, right?

Just when you think the Hockey Canada scandal has hit rock-bottom, it punches through and finds a way.

Seravalli adds only this....

At least Phil Kessel seems to honestly enjoy all the hotdog jokes.

Meanwhile, in Real Competition (Which is Real): Will you defend Vic against the New Guy and the Eldritch Horror?

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

Texas Stars training camp started yesterday at H-E-B Center. Check out the roster at this link. [Texas Stars]


Finnish Mafia or Swedish Murder Machine? Welcome to Gangs of Big D.