Fanshots

Jamie Benn a Finalist for EA Sports' NHL 17 Cover Vote

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Because everything this summer is going to be tied to the hype machine that is the World Cup of Hockey, the fine folks at EA Sports have also landed on that concept for their annual cover vote.

Jamie Benn is representative for Team Canada (though Connor McDavid also makes an appearance as the representative of the strange and mysterious under-23 team). Voting is taking place on Twitter, where EA Sports will track the hashtags to decide the winner. Fans can vote for Benn by using #NHL17Benn with their Tweets.

There are no limits to how many times someone can vote, and votes on Thursday count double because reasons. The first round of voting ends on May 2.

Benn is up against Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers in the first round. Fans who do not have a Twitter account can vote via this page from the NHL.

Game 1 Highest Rated Dallas Stars Broadcast on FSSW Since 2014

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Fresh off the heels of their Game 1 victory over the Minnesota Wild, the Dallas Stars got more good news on the ratings front as the early numbers the game posted on Fox Sports Southwest were very strong.

According to a news release from the network, the game was the highest-rated Stars game on FSSW since Game 6 of the 2014 Western Conference Championship at 2.29, peaking at 2.83 from 9:45-10 p.m. local time (this is why 8:30 p.m. start times are the worst, NHL).

That's a 250 percent increase over the regular-season average, showing how the Stars playoff presence is a huge factor in their becoming relevant in the DFW marketplace once again. FSSW will be showing all the first-round games locally with the NBC crews having the national rights.

Radek Faksa Scores First Goal of Dallas Stars Playoffs

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Ales Hemsky fed Faksa to open the scoring, and it was beautiful. Check out the GIF here.

Jason Spezza is Dallas Stars Nominee for King Clancy Trophy

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The Dallas Stars have announced that center Jason Spezza is the team's nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is given to the player who "best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community."

Nominees are decided by their teammates.

Spezza was a key part of establishing the Jason Spezza Scholarship Fund, which helps provide kids with funds and equipment necessary to play hockey. He has pledged $25,000 per season for 2015-16 and 2016-17 to help fund ice time and fees in the Dallas Metro Hockey League. Texas Land and Cattle also added $25,000 to the fund this season.

D Magazine Article on Tom Gaglardi

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I'm not sure if this was ever posted but it's a great article. It has some great f-bombs from Tom and Jim Lites first interaction and some real interesting stuff on getting back into the Dallas business scene.

Niklas Hansson Signs Three-Year Entry Level Contract with Dallas Stars, Will Join Texas on ATO

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The Dallas Stars have continued to build a stable of young defenseman in the minor leagues by signing prospect Niklas Hansson to a three-year entry-level contract that begins in 2016-17. The Swedish prospect has also signed an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) to play with the Texas Stars for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.

Hansson was a third-round pick of the Stars in 2013, the first draft under general manager Jim Nill. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound defenseman had 22 points (7-15-22) in 44 games with HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League this season as a 21 year old. He finished in the top 15 for all SHL defensemen in goals and points.

According to the official release, he will report to the Texas Stars next week.

Dallas Stars Recall Brett Ritchie From AHL's Texas Stars

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The Dallas Stars have recalled Brett Ritchie, who missed the start of the season while recovering from offseason wrist surgery, from the Texas Stars of the AHL.

Ritchie has 28 points (14-14-28) in 35 games with Texas and is second on the team with six power play goals. Last season in Dallas, he scored six goals and added three assists in 31 NHL games.

As it is after the NHL trade deadline, the Stars are no longer bound by the 23-man roster limit. However, they do have a maximum of four call-ups from the deadline until the end of the season, except for emergency circumstances.

Dallas Stars "Rise Up" (Trailer)

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I have been working for awhile on my next video. It won't be done until the end of the regular season, but I thought I would show you guys a little bit of it! Hope you enjoy! (Yes I made a trailer for a 5 minute(ish) video.

Defending Big D Podcast Appearance With Arctic Ice Hockey

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Taylor joins Arctic Ice Hockey to talk Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars as we gear up for a home-and-home and the trade deadline this week.

USA Hockey Bringing U17 Five Nations Tournament to Frisco

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Metroplex hockey fans will be able to end their summer doldrums a little sooner than usual this August. USA Hockey announced that the annual Under-17 Five Nations Tournament will take place this year in Frisco from Aug. 9-13.

The tournament features youth national teams from the United States, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland, and the USA has won the tournament six of the last eight times, including last year.

The tournament was last played on US soil in 2011 and has featured players like Nick Bjugstad, Justin Faulk and Kyle Okposo in past years.