Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Richie Whitt at the Dallas Observer,
Admittedly stripped to a die-hard, bare-bones fan base after years of late-season flirtation begetting only playoff headaches, the Stars are at it again. Quietly, efficiently producing successful hockey that begs to be noticed. But for the most part playing to a city that doesn’t give a damn. [...]
“We’re down to the core,” says Stars president Jeff Cogen, charged with regenerating a hockey buzz in our disappointed, disjointed sports town. “It’s not ‘Woe is me.’ It’s just that, compared to who we once were we’ve fallen off quite a bit. We admit that, and we’re reacting to it to get those fans back.
From Mike Heika at The Dallas Morning News,
“He gets guys stirred up, I can tell you that,” said teammate Stephane Robidas, who has seen Ott’s handiwork up-close and personal. “There are times when guys just want to kill him.”
Many of Ott’s barbs are R-rated. He sprinkles in Sopranos-like dialogue with taunts that would make the folks at HBO blush. When asked for a few “Ott-isms,” Stars coach Dave Tippett cautioned, “I think we’ll have to go to a different network if you want to hear those.”
But Ott does have a subtle side. In a recent game against the Oilers, rookie Zack Stortini came into the faceoff circle and Ott pulled Stortini’s shoulder pad forward to get a better view of the name on the back of the jersey.”
“I was just trying to find out who he was,” Ott joked.
from the Star-Telegram,
Who exactly is going to be that guy for Mo in the playoffs?
Do you want the good news? Or the bad?
The bad is a trade for a sniper is probably a pipe dream. Too many teams have playoff aspirations, and those who don’t are talking crazy talk when called.
Why give up talented young defenseman like Matt Niskanen (real age 21, looks 14) or Nicklas Grossman (real age 23, also looks 14) and who knows how much else when Marian Hossa can be had in free agency?
Or for Miroslav Satan (which is Slovakian for Ladislav Nagy II)?
And does anybody want to ask goalie Marty Turco to waive his no-trade clause for Martin St. Louis? Vincent Lecavalier, maybe. St. Louis, only if everybody at StarsCentral is partaking in the pipe part of the dream.
from the Star-Telegram,
Lehtinen has been back for five of the Stars’ last six victories, and his play has been as much a reason for the Stars’ latest success as anything. Whether it’s forechecking, killing penalties or boosting the power play, Lehtinen’s impact is being felt everywhere.
“He’s all-purpose for us,” captain Brenden Morrow said. “He stepped in, and the power play’s working. It’s not just the penalty kill or 5 on 5. He’s on every facet of our game. That’s the Jere Lehtinen of old. He’s probably underrated throughout the league, and many don’t recognize his work. But 22 guys in this room certainly do.”
from the Dallas Morning News,
“I don’t think you can ever have enough shooters, so that’s definitely something that would help us, whether it be on our line or the power play,” Modano said. “To find someone who can find that empty space on the power play or can convert a chance at the net, yeah, I think I would be fine if we got one of those.”
Co-general managers Brett Hull and Les Jackson say they are looking, but it’s difficult to find that commodity in the NHL. So the Stars need to be ready in the event no players are added before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
more on the Stars…
via the Dallas Stars,
The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has activated right wing Jere Lehtinen from the injured reserve list.
Lehtinen, 34, missed the past 33 games (from Nov. 23 – Jan. 29) with an abdominal injury that required surgery. In 21 games this season, he has tallied six goals and 13 assists for 19 points with a 5 rating. The 6-0, 192-pound right wing missed only 11 total games over Dallas’ previous two seasons.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
So in the next three weeks, we are going to see if that can be done without the use of outside help. If it is clear it cannot, the Stars will attempt to make a trade for a shoot-first scorer who can play on Modano’s wing.
The co-GMs have made it clear they will not risk their future (top prospects or draft picks) to get said player. So what they have to deal from, probably, is a group that includes backup goalie Mike Smith, defenders such as Philippe Boucher, Mattias Norstrom and Trevor Daley, and forwards such as Ott, Halpern, Miettinen and Jokinen.
The plan is to try to compete for the Stanley Cup without doing anything too drastic. Some might say that is fence-sitting and that any fence-sitting plan is doomed to fail.
from the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Stars Blog,
Just got off the phone with Les Jackson to ask him about the Marty Turco for Martin St. Louis trade that hockeybuzz is touting, and he said his policy going forward is going to be to not comment on trades, because it just seems like a waste of time to him.
But he said he has not had talks with trading Marty Turco to anyone for anything.
“I am not interested in trading Marty Turco. That’s just the way I feel,’’ he said
from Bolts Report at the Tampa Tribune,
Gang, I’m not one to work on spreading rumors or throwing stuff up against the wall until I hope something sticks. I don’t like to operate that way and to me it’s just a lot of hot air (or wasted print).
But I have to point this fact out tonight that Dallas had co-general manager Brett Hull and director of player personnel Dave Taylor in attendence at the game tonight. Not even completely sure they were there to scout the Lightning, but I can’t imagine they would come here just to scout a team in their own conference.
from the Star-Telegram,
Nobody thought the Stars’ left wing would maintain that 82-goal pace—some reporters put it out there for fun—but it raised the possibility of a breakthrough season.
That possibility became reality Sunday when the 28-year-old scored his career-high 18th goal—and that’s with 31 regular-season games remaining. Last season, he set a career high with 17 goals. He scored two goals in the 5-2 victory over Anaheim, one short-handed and one into an empty net.
His continuing improvement shows how well the Stars made out when they acquired him from Florida in December 2005 for a seventh-round pick.
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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