Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via MetroNews,
A judge has ruled the owner of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League broke federal environmental laws while renovating his waterfront vacation home in Kamloops, B.C.
The charges were laid after Tom Gaglardi and Northland Properties ordered workers to alter the shore of Kamloops Lake while constructing a boat launch. Gaglardi is due back in court on Aug. 21 to set a date for sentencing.
During the trial, former Northland employee Jim Parks said he was ordered to destroy documents and throw a computer hard drive “in the lake” when federal investigators began looking into alleged environmental improprieties at the home....
The maximum penalties for harmful alteration of fish habitat are fines of up to $1 million and or six months in jail.
a bit more...
from Alex Silverman of SportsBusiness Daily,
The Stars took a significant step forward in ’13-14, making the playoffs for the first time since Owner Tom Gaglardi bought the team out of bankruptcy in ’11.
The team followed up that milestone by adding veteran scorers Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky to its young core. With the hope that the team will carry its on-ice momentum into ’14-15, the front office, led by President & CEO Jim Lites, is working to put the team’s business operations in a position to follow suit.
Lites admitted the team likely is not in a position to turn a profit this season, but said that the goal is climbing closer. Lites: “Once we can sell the lower arena of the AmericanAirlines Center out on a season-ticket basis at fair prices, we’re going to be well on our way to being profitable on an annual basis.”
Lites said that the team is 80% of the way to selling out the arena's lower bowl on a nightly basis. The team has a full season-ticket base of 9,000 heading into this season, up from 6,000 when Gaglardi took over.
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Antoine Roussel on a four-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Roussel, 24, concluded his second season with the Dallas Stars, earning career highs during the regular season in games played (81), goals (14), assists (15), points (29) and penalty minutes (209). The winger finished the 2013-14 campaign third in the NHL with 209 penalty minutes and was the only player in the League to record more than 25 points and 150 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 200-pound forward made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2014, posting three assists, four shots and 27 penalty minutes in six postseason contests.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
... it's not like Dallas has been a hot destination, either. It's a town that appears on plenty of no-trade lists, including Spezza's initially. Sure, you can golf 50 weeks of the year and the absence of a state income tax is a nice bargaining chip. But so is winning, and this team is only now figuring out how to do that after years of ineffective play.
It's to his credit then that Nill hasn't only figured out a way to work around his own limitations, he's had the courage to make the hard choices that have brought his plan to life. The Stars haven't been turned into overnight Stanley Cup contenders, but he has given this team direction. He's given it an image.
And maybe most importantly, he's given it hope. Not just for years down the road, but for this season.
And that's making some other GMs look bad.
SportsDay's Dallas Stars beat writer, Mike Heika, hosted a chat Tuesday to talk everything hockey. Here are some of the highlights:
Question: People are saying the Stars can win the cup next year. What's a realistic expectation for this team?
Heika: Another tough question. I think they are a legitimate playoff team now. I think they have the chance (especially by adding a few wins from the back-up goalie) of being a 100-point team and moving into possibly the fifth or sixth seed in the West. They could certainly do even better than that, but I think they will be better than just battling for eighth now. As for the Cup, that's still a tough bet. There are lots of good teams in the West, there are lots of questions on the Stars. There are moves that can still be made before next April. I think the Stars should clear a lot of cap space next summer, make another big move (possibly on defense) and be a Cup contender in 2015-16.
more at the Dallas Morning News...
Jim Nill talked first about the Dallas Stars then turned it over to Jason Spezza.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Like a wine stain on a wedding gown, the Stars’ defense still has many fans seeing red.
While general manager Jim Nill put some zing in his second line and added an admirable project at backup goalie this week, he didn’t touch the defense. That’s right, nothing. And haven’t you been hearing for the last four years that the blueline is where this team needs the most attention?
But Nill said he has a plan, and it’s to trust the kids. His changes will come in the form of Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth, John Klingberg, Jyrki Jokipakka and Cameron Gaunce. Nill is betting that at least two of those youngsters will take a step forward, and that the remaining defensemen will be as good or better than last season.
“I’m excited about our defense,” Nill said. “We’ve got three or four young kids that are knocking on the door from the Calder Cup championship down in Texas. We think we’ve got lots of different options. We know they’re all going to get better. We think we’re going to be just fine.”
from Pat Pickens of Sportsnet,
What do you believe you are getting with Spezza?
He’s an elite hockey player. He’s over a point-per-game player in the NHL. They don’t just fall out of the sky. He’s in the prime of career. He’s a big body, he’s got great hands, great vision. He’s going to help our power play. He’s played in the Stanley Cup playoffs before and the Stanley Cup Final and the world championships. We’re getting an elite player in the prime of his career.
Given how formidable the rest of the Western Conference is, plus the moves others have made, was this a move you felt you had to make to remain competitive?
We knew we had to address that hole in our lineup when I came in here last year. If I didn’t get Spezza, we had to turn to another option. We had Jamie Benn playing centre because we had no other options. It was a hole to get filled, and it turned out well to get Jason Spezza.
How much risk do you associate with this deal, considering Spezza will still be a free agent next summer?
I’m not too worried about the contract. His agent [Rick Curran] and I have spoken, and we’re going to get Jason in here to show him around the area. I’m pretty confident we’re going to get a contract done.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Vernon Fiddler took less money Wednesday to come back to the Dallas Stars, and that’s what the “culture” of Jim Nill’s makeover can create.
“Honestly, I had better offers. But I wanted to stay with this team and finish the job,” Fiddler said after signing a two-year deal that will pay him $1 million next season and $1.5 million in 2015-16. “There is a real attraction to playing here and playing to win, and seeing this through. I think this is going to be a really good team, and I want to be a part of that.”
Fiddler completes the off-season for Nill. The general manager said he is done with acquisitions after trading for center Jason Spezza and signing winger Ales Hemsky, goalie Anders Lindback and forwards Patrick Eaves and Fiddler as free agents. The Stars have a full roster, with the only thing to be determined is how many kids from the AHL-champion Texas Stars earn a spot on the team in training camp.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars coach was asked what he felt he could do with his two new “top-six” forwards Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky, and he answered with bemusement.
“Well,” he said with a chuckle, “I think the options are almost limitless.”
When Stars general manager Jim Nill made a trade early Tuesday to acquire Spezza from the Ottawa Senators and then later in the day signed Hemsky to a three-year free-agent contract for $4 million a season, he solved a lot of problems for Ruff.
One, he created a real second line that will take pressure off of leading scorers Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Two, he propped up a sagging power play (23rd in the NHL at 15.9 percent) and created the possibility of two solid units on the man advantage. And three, he allowed Ruff to ponder a third line of Antoine Roussel-Cody Eakin-Ryan Garbutt that cashed in for 47 goals last season.
“You look at what we have now, and we really have a great top nine,” Ruff said of moving the Eakin line from second line to third. “You can do a lot with that. You can create mismatches, you can get away from matchups [the other team wants], you can juggle your personnel.”
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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