Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jennifer Floyd Engel (the other Little Ball of Hate) of the Star-Telegram,
Dear Jim Lites:
I want to start by apologizing. You wrote Stars fans and local media a letter back in July, and I have been remiss in not answering. Cowboys season has been front of mind, and y’all seemed so convinced that what you wrote was truth, not spin doctoring, that waiting seemed like a prudent course.
Rumblings already have begun in the Stars locker room that what plagued this team last season has not been fixed. So I’ve highlighted some of your more cogent points about your fans and your team and responded as necessary:
Some Dallas Stars fan resources. First, there’s a Stars MySpace page; this is only the second one I’ve seen, other than the Coyotes’ page. (Do other clubs have them? Do you care?) Plus there’s the Dallas Stars Icegirls MySpace page—probably a rather popular destination…
Also a reminder: the Stars “write your own billboard” contest is still going on—entry deadline is October 17th.
The image below is an example from the team’s own website. So I guess the gloves are off in Texas this season.
from the Dallas Morning News,
And what about the Stars? Dallas ranked 12th in average tickets distributed at 17,914 last season. It ranked 16th in percentage of capacity at 96.7 percent.
This season, the Stars could fall slightly below that. The season-ticket base is down 10 percent to fewer than 13,000. On some nights, there could be a lot of empty seats.
The same goes for Colorado and Detroit. If those two can’t sell out with Anaheim and Dallas in town on opening night, what kind of crowd will show up for Columbus on a Tuesday in November?
From Mike Heika at the Dallas Morning News,
Armstrong said he still wants the Stars team that will open the season on Wednesday at Colorado to be creative offensively. He still wants the coaching staff to squeeze out every goal. He still wants players to reach their goal-scoring potential. But they won’t do that at the expense of a strong team commitment to defense.
“I just am not going to apologize for being one of the best defensive teams in the league,” Armstrong said. “I am not going to apologize for having one of the best regular-season records in the league. We will always strive to improve in every department, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a strong identity.”
With 507 goals, 719 assists and 1,226 career regular-season points in 17 seasons, Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars enters the 2007-08 season just seven points from establishing a record for NHL points by a U.S.-born player.
Modano is attempting to become just the sixth player in history to hold the U.S. mark; Phil Housley has been the all-time leader since March 13, 1999.
Below is a Mike Modano tribute video, produced by the NHL as the Dallas Star enters his 18th NHL season.
from the Star-Telegram,
When the Stars acquired Norstrom in February, they got a big defenseman who added a more defensive touch to the blue line. They also got a player who has a take-charge quality about him, be it on the ice, in the locker room—or when they had their team-bonding exercises recently in Colorado.
“He’s a natural leader, that’s just who he is,” coach Dave Tippett said. “When you come in the middle of the year, it’s not hard but you don’t get the full effect of things. He’s come in this year and he’s familiar with the group. He’s very good for us, on and off the ice.”
from the Dallas News,
“I’m here to help the organization any way I can,” said Hull, who served as assistant to president Jim Lites last season.
When asked if that’s something he can seriously do, Hull responded confidently: “I don’t see why not. ... I’ve got a boatload of knowledge, and everyone has to figure out how to tap into it.”
Hull has a few ideas. He would love to simply open up a brain that has soaked up hockey since he was a kid watching his father, Bobby, and his uncle Dennis, and let the contents spill out. He would love to try the Jackson Pollock philosophy of pouring his paint onto a blank canvas to see what kind of masterpiece would appear.
But he’s smart enough to know better.
from the Star-Telegram,
A chill blew through the American Airlines Center on Monday as arena workers finished laying the ice for the start of the Dallas Stars’ season.
It takes an eight-person team 36 hours to create the 1-inch sheet of ice, using 10,000 gallons of purified water. Workers also spend several hours painting the Stars’ logo and sponsor names that are embedded in the ice….
First, the concrete floor is chilled to 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, using a wand system, crews spray water on the floor, gradually building the ice up layer by layer.
Workers paint logos and use tape to mark the blue and red lines and faceoff circles on the ice. More layers of ice are laid on top of the painted layer with the arena’s two Zamboni machines.
While adding the final layers, crews fracture the ice in several places and then fill in those cracks to help reduce the stress on the ice during a hockey game.
from Jerry Brown, East Valley Tribune columnist,
A new ad campaign for the Dallas Stars includes billboards that state, “The only thing our refs shave is the ice.” Is that how bad things have gotten for the NHL? You can’t sell your own sport, so attack the NBA’s problems in hopes of attracting a few stray fans?
NBA spin doctors are hard at work at a response. The early prototype: “Our games are on ESPN, not “The Cycling Channel.”
If you’ve seen the billboard near American Airlines Center, you might think the Stars should be sent to the penalty box for slashing another sport when it’s down.
Or you could soak in the message – “The only thing our refs shave is the ice” – and do what Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did.
“I think it’s hysterical,” Cuban said. “Good for them. It’s a fun ad.”
VERNON BRYANT / DMN
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com