Dallas Stars Odds & Ends: AHL Season Done, NHL Resumption Scenarios

Also: a Stars assistant coach interviews for a head coaching position elsewhere.

Let’s catch up on what’s happening in Dallas Stars land.

Texas Stars Season Over

Though the AHL had been officially on pause, the league voted this morning to cancel the rest of the season:

The Texas Stars ended the season with 61 points in 62 games. Much like the parent club, the Texas Stars had a rough start to the season. They had finally started winning some games and putting together a little run, getting in the mix for one of the last spots in the playoffs.

However, as this COVID-19 pandemic continues to require limiting public gatherings to small groups, maintaining social distancing, and not all businesses open for regular operations right now, it appeared more and more likely that the possibility of fans attending games anytime soon was next to zero. In a league that is dependent on the gate for ticket sales, concessions, and parking revenues to survive due to a lack of large media rights deal, hosting games without fans would be irrelevant.

If the NHL season resumes to finish off this year’s regular season games/playoffs, several Texas Stars could be called into action for practice squad duties as a black ace, such as Jason Robertson, Joel Kiviranta, and Jake Oettinger.

John Stevens Interviews For New Jersey Devils Job

The New Jersey Devils continued their head coach search, interviewing current Dallas Stars assistant coach John Stevens. Stevens, who joined the staff this year and was a close friend of former Stars head coach Jim Montgomery, was the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings after a little over a full season in the role before being dismissed at the start of the 2018-19 season due to a 4-8-1 starting record. Since Montgomery’s dismissal, Stevens has been running the defense in place of Rick Bowness, who took over as interim head coach.

Resumption of NHL Season Still Unclear

The NHL is still mulling over options for the resumption of the season. It was reported that the league was down to two options over the weekend: a 24-team play-in style playoff, or jumping straight into the playoffs with the regular 16 playoff teams.

Under a 24-game play-in, the top four teams in each conference would play for seeding. It’s unclear how the team rankings would be determined: whether through points percentage or reverting everyone back to the standings as of 68 games played. If it’s based on points percentage, Dallas would be in the four teams playing for playoff seeding along with the St. Louis Blues, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Vegas Golden Knights.

That doesn’t change if you revert back to the standings at 68 games played. So even though the Stars were in a skid before the season was paused, they’ll not have to worry about a play-in scenario should the league choose to go that route. Both scenarios appear to setup for the Stars to play the Blues for playoff seeding if my math is correct.

Regardless of the scenario the league chooses to come back under, the teams will have a training camp prior to games resuming.