This is one of those stories where it's tough to gauge the direct impact on the everyday fan, but this is certainly an interesting development when it comes to the evolving business of the Dallas Stars following the sale of the team to Tom Gaglardi in Nov. 2011.
After the sale, we'd heard there were ongoing discussions about the possibility of moving the team's practice facility and team offices closer to Dallas -- and perhaps go straight into downtown. Being closer the actual city, having a bigger presence closer to the AAC and the media and spreading hockey a bit farther south than North Dallas County would have been an interesting investment to consider. Now, it seems, the team has decided to stay in Frisco for the long haul.
The Stars were originally headquartered in Valley Ranch just down the road from the Dallas Cowboys, until their move to Frisco a little over ten years ago. Now, the Cowboys will be moving their facilities to Frisco and the Stars are expecting to reap some serious benefits from the media-magnet franchise being so close to the local NHL team once more.
Jim Lites spoke to Mike Hieka of the Dallas Morning News about the situation:
"If you are taking a white board and drawing this up from scratch, you're almost surely putting your facility in Dallas," Lites said. "The benefits of proximity to your ticket-buyers, your corporate sponsors and the media are great, and it's difficult to argue that that wouldn't be great for your business."
"The investment for our organization (to move) would cost in excess of $10 million, so we have to be smart about this and weigh all of the factors," Lites said. "While that investment might have made sense a few months ago, it might not now. If the Cowboys' move delivers some of the benefits we think it might in terms of media exposure, then it might make sense for us to just stay where we are."
As it was in the days of Valley Ranch, the Stars are hoping that the media collecting around the Cowboys facilities would once again help out with getting better exposure in the local market -- it would be much easier for news reporters and outlets to travel from one to the other. As it stands, most sports reporters are camped out at Valley Ranch for most of the year and if there is news related to both teams at around the same time -- where do you think the media will be headed?
Lites would go on to say that the team is still exploring development options in Dallas, including the possibility of building a new StarCenter, which would help those not near Farmer's Branch, or McKinney or Frisco who want to play ice hockey have an easier path to do so.
The Cowboys are not expected to move to Frisco until 2016, but that's likely the same timeframe the Stars were looking at moving anyway -- if not a bit farther out. For now, the Stars will remain in Frisco and wait for their football brethren to join them.
A local news outlet in Seattle has a lengthy article on Brenden Dillon, who continues to become more and more recognized as an up and coming NHL defenseman. Dillon played junior hockey with the Seattle Thunderbirds and his big finish to his career there unexpectedly propelled him to the NHL. It's a great article and interview, but they also mention "rumors swirling" that Dillon could be named the next captain of the Stars. Wonder where they got that from? [MyNorthwest.com]
Mike Heika profiles Ray Whitney, in his series that really doesn't have a defined order but sort of seems like it does. [DMN Stars Blog]
The Colorado Avalanche sure have faith in Gabriel Landeskog. Named captain after just one season at the ripe age of 19, Landeskog signed a 7-year, $39 million contract. At first glance this seems like an absurd amount to give such a young player, but three of those years are UFA years where he'll be making $6M, $6M and $6.5M -- the salary cap could likely be astronomical then and five years from now this contract could be a bargain. [Canadian Press]
The NHL wants to get serious about PEDs and HGH testing...but not just yet. A testing program won't be implemented until 2014-2015 at the earliest, according to Bill Daly. [The Star]
Finally, the most interesting reason for a player's severe offseason injury ever: Claude Giroux will likely miss the start of training camp when he was "golfing today when his golf club shattered and splintered into his index finger." Giroux had several tendons severed and needed to have surgery. So...that's the story. [Flyers]