Dallas Stars Daily Links: Roster Shuffling

How will the return of Stephen Johns affect the Stars’ NHL roster? Plus, interviews from last night’s loss, All-Star game news, and more.

ICYMI, Stephen Johns was recalled to the NHL by the Dallas Stars yesterday. He’s still on LTIR for the moment, but his long-awaited return to NHL hockey is finally drawing near.

So how will his inclusion on the roster affect the Stars’ roster? Sean Shapiro expects the team to carry eight defensemen, but notes it won’t change much to start with:

Carrying eight defensemen likely wouldn’t change much of the roster construction since the Stars have typically carried 13 healthy forwards throughout the season — the lone exception coming recently when Corey Perry’s suspension forced other plans.

What it will impact, however, is the Stars’ flexibility with its forward core. And with Joel Kiviranta looking better and better each game he plays in Dallas, the team might be faced with a difficult decision sooner rather than later:

Based on his play, I think he starts to shoehorn himself into a role on the Stars’ fourth line and potentially seizes that spot permanently by the start of the playoffs. It’s not one player he’s edging out, per se — this is a situation where, as the season progresses, Dallas will realize they are a better team with Kiviranta in the lineup.

You can read more from Shapiro’s mailbag here.

More Stars Stuff

It was a sad Thursday evening, as the Stars lost 4-1 to the Buffalo Sabres. Here are Rick Bowness’ post-game comments:

Next up is Tyler Seguin, who’s just as frustrated as you are by the teams’ first periods:

And here’s Ben Bishop, a.k.a. the only reason the game was even close:

At least it was a fun thought exercise — Stars General Manager Jim Nill confirmed that the Stars won’t be making another mid-season coaching change:

Around the League

Last night was a mixed-bag for the Central division when you throw in Dallas’ loss:

  • The Nashville Predators lost 4-2 for the second game in a row, this time courtesy of the Anaheim Ducks. [On the Forecheck]
  • Meanwhile the Minnesota Wild managed to snap a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. [NHL]
  • Finally, Valeri Nichushkin scored the game-winner for the Colorado Avalanche in a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks. [NHL]/

15 years in the league, 15 seasons with 30+ goals. Are we sure Alex Ovechkin is human?

The more the NHL promotes women’s hockey the better, I say:

Honestly should have just let Gallant stay as the division head coach, imo:

What makes a hockey player a “pest”? Greg Wyshynski discusses:

Finally, which NHL Draft class could ice the best starting lineup today? Down Goes Brown ranks them: