Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Here are Five Questions with … Jason Spezza:
Obviously it's a major adjustment going from Ottawa to Dallas, so what has it been like for you? Has it been strange, different, challenging? How would you describe the adjustment?
"I would say it's all of the above.
"The strange is starting to wear off. It's definitely starting to become more routine now that I've been to the game rink a bunch and been around the guys a lot. Once you start playing more and more games you start feeling more comfortable, so the strange is starting to go away.
"It's challenging just trying to get to know everybody on the team and what their tendencies are, where they like to stand on the ice. Everybody has their things they like to do, so that's a bit of a challenge for me, figure out guys' tendencies.
"And it's been exciting. Just being on a new team it just feels like the excitement is really in my game. I'm trying to make sure I'm pushing myself to do well and to really help the club."
Watch the incident below...
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Overcoming adversity is something we all do, yet when it’s laid out before us on the Zenith in vivid Victory Green, it seems downright noble. What the Stars did to the Penguins was inconceivable, and yet it happened. They grabbed hold of a game that looked like it was going to end 8-0 and they won it 3-2. They ended a six-game losing streak in Pittsburgh and posted their first victory there since 2000. They rallied to score the latest game-winning goal since the team moved to Texas in 1993.
When the Stars scored with 2.9 seconds remaining, the official time of the goal was 19:57 of the third period. Twice, the Stars have scored at 19:55 in Dallas (1995 Guy Carbonneau vs. Boston and 2011 Jamie Benn vs. Phoenix). Once, they scored at 19:59 in Minnesota (1988).
That, in and of itself, makes Thursday’s win special.
What makes it more special is the fact the Stars easily could have let that game slip away, and nobody would have thought anything of it.
more and watch the Tyler Seguin winning goal below...
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Jamie Benn’s soft tone and shy smile are perfect for his personal strategy of life.
“I like to fly under the radar,” the Stars captain repeated on several occasions Wednesday.
The problem is that Benn’s playing style keeps making that more and more difficult. As much as some call him the most underrated player in the league, Benn is the reigning best left wing in the NHL, as well as a gold medalist in the 2014 Olympics.
He’s getting to be kind of a big deal.
“He just does so many good things,” said linemate Tyler Seguin. “It’s something new every game.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Spezza will need to be on the defensive Not long ago, Jeff Carter was the equivalent of Spezza — a talented but unanchored center with more promise than production. But Carter, ditched by Philadelphia, then by Columbus, has turned himself into an excellent three-zone center in Los Angeles under coach Darryl Sutter. Without Carter complementing Kopitar, the Kings don’t have two Cups in the last three years. Carter, formerly a shoot-first center, is more dangerous now that he’s committed to playing defense. Only time will tell whether Spezza, the ex-Senator, will resurrect himself similarly in Dallas. Spezza is a brilliant playmaker. But he’s never been considered defensively responsible. He’ll need to be with the Stars when he’s butting heads with Carter, Kopitar, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, David Backes, and Paul Stastny in the Western Conference.
Stuart’s contract a head-scratcher Brad Stuart is 34 years old. He has yet to play a single real game for Colorado, which acquired him from San Jose for draft picks. The ex-Bruin is 15 appearances short of hitting the 1,000-game threshold. In San Jose, Stuart’s teammates performed better when he was on the bench instead of on the ice. He is a high-mileage, defense-first defenseman. Stuart’s average ice time, 23:10 in 2009-10, has gone down each season (21:31 in 2010-11, 21:03 in 2011-12, 20:27 in 2012-13, 19:09 last year). Yet the Avalanche signed Stuart on Monday to a two-year, $7.2 million extension. The Avalanche have yet to see Stuart, who will likely be paired with Erik Johnson, under regular-season duress. Stuart will be 35 when his extension becomes effective in 2015-16, which means he will count against the cap if he retires. Players fitting Stuart’s profile (see Chris Phillips, Rob Scuderi) struggle as they progress through their mid-to-late-30s. It’s possible Stuart could be the exception. The Avalanche could have used this season to figure this out.
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed defenseman Brenden Dillon to a one-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Dillon, 23, recorded career-highs in almost every statistical category during the 2013-14 campaign. He finished the season with 17 points (6-11=17), including two shorthanded goals, and a plus/minus rating of +9 in 80 regular-season contests with the Stars. Dillon ranked fourth among all NHL defensemen and led all Stars skaters with a +20 rating at home this season. He also led the club with 168 hits and ranked second with 149 blocked shots.
The native of New Westminster, British Columbia made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, logging two shots and two penalty minutes in two postseason contests.
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed forward Cody Eakin to a two-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Cody is a two-way, young forward who competes hard and has the ability to make plays offensively," said Nill. "He has just scratched the surface in terms of his development at this level and we are confident that over these next two years, we'll see him mature into an even more dependable and productive player."
from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,
Biggest storyline to watch: Will the Jason Spezza experiment succeed, or will the Stars need to revamp next summer? Spezza becomes a UFA at the end of the 2014-15 campaign and Nill is confident he’ll sign him to an extension. Until he signs the extension, there will be a slight sense of unease. When the second-overall pick from the 2001 draft is healthy, he still has No. 1 centre ability. A one-two punch with Seguin and Spezza is outstanding on paper, and the Stars gave up too many assets for it not to work.
2014-15 bold prediction: Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and Valeri Nichushkin will each register at least 70 points as Dallas finishes third in the Central Division.
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
Having suited up for his hometown Jets for parts of their first two seasons back in Winnipeg, but limited by a string of injuries, Meech tried a new adventure last fall.
He signed with Dynamo Minsk of the KHL.
“In a different scenario I would have been there all year,” Meech said. “The city of Minsk was great. Obviously there’s things you’ve got to get used to — a different country, the language barrier, all that kind of thing. But it was a great experience for us.”
The hockey was something else, too, tailor-made, you’d think, for a smallish (5-foot-11), puck-moving defenceman.
“It’s a really good league. It’s a different style of game. But very skilled players. I played against some really good teams there.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stick it out the whole year there, because of my little issue.”
Twenty-three games into his season, a heart problem Meech has had, on and off, for several years flared up.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
In a league where one of the most common refrains is that it’s next to impossible to acquire top-end centers, Jim Nill picked up Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza just over a year on the job as general manager in Dallas.
No wonder the Stars are a trendy pick ahead of this season to continue its onward climb in the tough Western Conference.
``I think Dallas is ready to take a leap in with the big boys,’’ one Eastern Conference GM told ESPN.com this week.
"It's no surprise to anyone in the Western Conference that watched Jim Nill and his staff quietly weave his Magic in Detroit ... that the same culture of excellence is evolving quickly in Dallas through solid drafting and astute trades and FA signings,’’ another rival Western Conference team executive told ESPN.com via email.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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