Dallas Stars Daily Links: Why the Stars Should Bring Back The Pet Calendar

We flash back to 2004 when the Stars last posed with their pets for charity and other news and notes from around the NHL.

If there was a theme to the hockey Twitter world on Friday, and take my word for it, there was one, it was hockey players and adorable animals.

First we had the Washington Capitals doing the photoshoot for their annual pet calendar. Then the Pittsburgh Penguins released a video of their team's pet calendar shoot. And Anze Kopitar skipped the whole calendar ruse and went straight for full on puppy snuggles.

Finally, Antoine Roussel proved that he is a man full of awesome surprises by Tweeting this adorable picture of what I am choosing to believe is his cat:

It really was quite fun.

And it also presents me the opportunity for the platform I will always get up upon - wishing that the Dallas Stars would bring back their own pet calendar.

A decade ago now, back when Richard Matvichuk still patrolled the blue line and Niko Kapanen was a young rookie making a splash, the Stars put out the last of their seemingly annual pet calendars. I'm not quite sure when or how they started, though my memory is throwing out something about Joe Nieuwendyk being a big supporter of the SPCA and getting the Stars Foundation involved with them. But they had a few years of adorable animal pictures before turning their attention to other themes and ideas.

The Stars Foundation has continued to release team calendars with proceeds going to charity, with the last several featuring high fashion or well-lit photo shoots. But I contend now and will forever that nothing matches the appeal of players and animals.

Seriously, Harvard graduate and tough defenseman Don Sweeney was never more approachable than when he was holding a tiny yorkie named Brittney:

Some players' choice in pet wasn't at all surprising, such as Brenden Morrow's giant pack of a mastiff named Mini and a boxer named Cascius.

Others showed off their love for soft fluffy creatures, like Teppo Numminen and Elmo:

And plenty of SPCA animals got in on the act as well, such as Marty Turco and this nameless but clearly filled with some sort of tiny rage kitten:

This version of the calendar, sold during the 2003-04 season for the 2004 calendar year, was a mismash of awkward bare feat, polo shirts and adorable pets and SPCA animals. And it was awesome. The Stars should bring it back.

You know Tyler Seguin's dogs Cash and Marshall would agree.

As for the actual hockey news...

  • It seems like it's been forever since the Stars played a home game, and one of the biggest points of emphasis for tonight is to continue to establish a real home-ice advantage at the American Airlines Center. [DallasStars.com]
  • In one of the slower stars to this season not belonging to the Edmonton Oilers, the Flyers are 0-2-2, and their lineup for tonight remains a question mark. [Broad Street Hockey]
  • I was trying to do a quick rundown in my head of former teammates Nicklas Grossmann will run into again today and got to five - Jamie Benn, Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Kari Lehtonen and Vernon Fiddler. Is that missing anyone? [The Daily Journal]
  • The Stars power play scored a big ol' goal recently, but it's still been only just about average to start the season. The team isn't that concerned at this point, though, with either side of their special teams. [Fox Sports Southwest]
  • Speaking of that power play, Jason Spezza is the person you can thank for coming up with the play that won Thursday's game against the Pens. [DallasNews.com]
  • Back when I was a member of the ink-stained wretches, we were told repeatedly to localize stories, to take something national and put a local spin on it so that our readers would care more. And with teams coming to Dallas from news media capitals, it's not surprising that the prominent national story of the moment is creeping into sports coverage in kind of bizarre ways. Still, take most things in this article with large, if not massive, grains of salt. [NJ.com]
  • In the great news department, Pascal Dupuis skated yesterday and is a game-time decision tonight after taking a teammate's shot in the back of the neck on Thursday. Glad to see that was more a scare than anything else. [NHL.com]
  • The San Jose Sharks are moving pretty far away from the water as the announced an affiliation agreement with the Allen Americans. [DallasNews.com]
  • Milan Lucic was not a happy boy on Thursday night. He took a silly penalty that aided in the Bruins loss to the Canadiens, and he showed the crowd exactly what he thought of them. The NHL showed Lucic exactly what they thought of his gestures Friday as they slapped him with the maximum $5,000 fine. [USA Today]
  • The longest official sellout streak in the NHL could end today as the Vancouver Canucks have announced they've reached the end of a 474-game stretch of full houses. [The Province]
  • Finally, if you're looking for some fun with your non-hockey friends (people have those?), you can always play the great new game of "What does Phil Kessel do for a living?" [Winging it in Motown]