Kukla's Korner

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Category: Dallas-Stars

The Dallas Stars Need To Fix Their Problems

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Dallas has missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons. That's tough to do in this league.

It has been 16 years since the Stars won the Stanley Cup. It has been 10 years since their last division championship (which capped a run of seven in nine years).

These are not your father's Stars.

This is not a problem created by the people here now, but it is one they have to acknowledge and accept. The reality is that this team has gone through bankruptcy, created a reality show rotation of coaches and players, and lost a lot of relevancy in Dallas and the NHL.

All of that is important as you ruminate on a 1-6-0 preseason. That kind of performance erodes confidence at home and perception around the league. It creates serious questions or, even worse, apathy.

And it is a problem of the Stars' own making.

Bottom line is you don't set out to go 1-6-0 in preseason, so you must have done something wrong. You don't address your goaltending question marks by posting the worst goaltending preseason numbers in the league, so you must have done something wrong. You don't create positive momentum by playing poorly, so you must have done something wrong.

And the Stars have to embrace that.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jamie Benn For The Hart Trophy?

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

With an improved cast around him, Benn will nudge out every other elite forward to win the Hart Trophy. He is the preseason choice to be the League's most valuable player in the 2015-16 season.
"Jamie improves every game and every year," Stars center Tyler Seguin said. "I've only been with him for two years, but as a player and as a person it seems like every week he's getting stronger and better, and becoming a better leader and better captain. He wants the team to be so successful that he's making himself better as a player."

The Stars became a better team during the offseason, adding goalie Antti Niemi, forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Johnny Oduya. All three have won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks. Sharp and Oduya did it last season.

Sharp is expected to start the season on a line with Benn and Seguin. It could become the best line in the NHL. Benn's numbers could go up. Would anybody be surprised if he scored 40 or more goals? He had 35 last season, 34 the season before.

A better, more experienced team around him should make Benn an even better player. That should put Benn in the national spotlight, which gives him a chance to impress more members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, who vote for the Hart Trophy.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jamie+benn

Defensive Issues Still Exist For The Dallas Stars

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Dallas lost a 4-1 game to St. Louis to fall to 1-4-0 in the preseason. Just as concerning, the Stars have yielded 20 goals in five games. That's a big deal for a team that vowed to fix goaltending and defense.

"It was disappointing," said coach Lindy Ruff. "We didn't compete hard enough. I thought some guys did, but they won the puck battles, we threw some pucks away and I thought our power play played pond hockey. That was frustrating."

The vast majority of the exhibition slate has been played with a mixed lineup, but the Stars went with a mostly veteran lineup Tuesday, including Benn, Hemsky, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and the expected six defenseman who will be in the lineup opening night against Pittsburgh.

Antti Niemi was in net and allowed four goals on 28 shots. He and Kari Lehtonen have split time in the preseason, and neither has looked great. However, both have faced some tremendous scoring chances -- and that's on the defense.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s All About The Goaltending For The Dallas Stars

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Goaltending is the biggest question for the Stars this season.

Dallas finished 29th in save percentage last season at .895 and then decided to spend an additional $4.5 million on the position in the summer by signing unrestricted free agent Antti Niemi. Add that to the $5.9 million cap hit for Kari Lehtonen, and the Stars are spending more on goalies than any other team in the NHL.

"Goaltending is paramount," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "For any team."

More so for the Stars. Dallas finished second in NHL scoring last season and still missed the playoffs. While Saturday's preseason opponent Tampa Bay scored two more goals than the Stars, the key to the Lightning making it to the Stanley Cup Final was allowing 51 fewer than Dallas did....

"I think we're sitting very well. We've got two No. 1 goalies," Nill said. "If there's an injury or one of them is struggling, we've got time to get it corrected. We know when we go into a back-to-back situation, we have a fresh goalie that will be able to come in and win a game for us. I'm excited."

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Jim Nill

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Q: How do you feel about entering the third season of your tenure? Is there increased pressure or are you further along with the plan, so maybe you're more comfortable with the organization?

Nill: "I'm not worried about pressure. We've got some of the best players in the world and the NHL, and our job is to win, so we're looking forward to it. We think we have a good thing going here, and we have been patient with our young kids and they're coming along. We've been fortunate enough to make some good trades and sign some good free agents. We're excited about the year. Our expectations are high and they should be."

Q: You have made a lot of changes. How far along are you on where you want to be?

Nill: "There's a process. You can't come in and get a job and expect things to happen overnight. This is the best hockey league in the world and there are 29 other teams trying to win as well. You're not going to find a No. 1 defenseman or a No. 1 centerman overnight. There's a process that has to happen, but I think we're right on pace with where we want to be....


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+nill

Dallas Stars Add Patrick Sharp, Antti Niemi—Aim to Rejoin Playoff Picture in 2015-16 NHL Seaso

By Joe Sudberg,

The Dallas Stars couldn’t make back-to-back playoff appearances after failing to qualify last season. The Stars were not awful by any means, finishing with a very respectable 41-31-10 record, but in a competitive Western Conference, Dallas ended up placing sixth in the Central division and 10th overall in the conference.

But the Stars have made moves in the offseason to make sure they don’t miss out on a postseason experience again. Patrick Sharp was brought in from a trade with the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks, in addition to bolstering their goaltending by adding Antti Niemi from a deal with the San Jose Sharks. Dallas management hopes these two moves will take the Stars to the next level, in addition to adding defenseman Johnny Oduya during free agency.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Rich Peverley Is Retiring, Will Work With The Dallas Stars

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Rich Peverley has decided to retire and take a job in the player development department with the Stars, he said Friday.

The former Stars center, 33, collapsed on the ice at American Airlines Center March 10, 2014 during a cardiac incident and hasn’t played since. He said he has used the past 18 months to push his rehab and see if he could get to a place where he could return to the NHL, but he knows that’s not possible.

“It was working out, monitoring how I was doing, continuing to see doctors to exhaust every avenue and find out exactly if I could play,” Peverley said of his rehab. “It’s a case that’s very complicated, and what I have learned is there is no 100 percent to medicine and, unfortunately, I can’t play anymore.”


added 2:38pm, Dallas Stars on the retirement....

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rich+peverley

Optimism In Dallas

from Sean McCullen of NHL.com,

Here are four reasons for the Stars to be optimistic:

Goaltending depth (and competition): With the addition of Niemi, the Stars won't have to ride incumbent No. 1 goalie Kari Lehtonen, who played in 65 games each of the past two seasons and looked worse for the wear in 2014-15, when he had the second-worst save percentage (.903) of his NHL career.

Niemi was 31-23-7 with a 2.59 goals-against average, a .914 save percentage and five shutouts in 61 games with the San Jose Sharks last season.

"They're both very competitive guys, so they're going to push each other, which I think is the best thing," Nill said.

More commitment to defense: The Stars were not good defensively last season, finishing tied for 26th in the League in goals allowed (3.13 per game). They were particularly bad in October and November, when they allowed an average of 3.46 goals over 24 games.

"We didn't early on buy in to you've got to play the game both ways," Nill said. "And a little bit of that is inexperience with a young group of guys. We learned our lesson. By about December we figured that out; the trouble was we had already dug a hole for ourselves."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Tyler Seguin Makes His Own Calls

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Seguin said he is in control of what seems to be a hectic life — and the key is focusing on hockey.

“Any of these things away from hockey, those are my calls,” Seguin said. “If I get an invitation, it’s up to me to say yes or no. I kind of have the personality where I’m all for it. I think it’s a lot of fun.”

And that’s why he often says yes. Why wouldn’t he want to be in the “Body” issue? He works hard to maintain his physique, so why not show it off? And when he did that, he joined an elite group of hockey players that includes Zdeno Chara, Brad Richards and Ryan Kesler.

Why wouldn’t he want to write for The Players’ Tribune, the media website founded by Derek Jeter that gives players a voice? In addition to telling his story firsthand, Seguin put himself in with a group of elite athletes. He gets to mingle with people who have lived the dream he is seeking.

“You can call it expanding the brand or whatever, but I think it’s just fun to be out there and to be able to talk to top athletes in other sports and see what they’re doing,” Seguin said. “I’m meeting LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter. I get to pick their brains, and they’re superstars who have made it, and that’s where I want to be some day.”

That’s why the entertainment side is important. To truly succeed these days, you have to make yourself a marketable commodity. Seguin is handsome, charming and gregarious.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tyler+seguin

Jack Campbell On His Workout Routine In Port Huron

from Paul Costanzo of the Times Herald,

Jack Campbell is entering a “prove-it” year with the Dallas Stars organization. So to prepare, he came home.

“I love being back home in Port Huron, it just helps my mind so much,” Campbell said. “It’s so relaxing. I’m never in a rush. I’m just kind of hanging out and enjoying the beautiful scenery, so it’s good.”

The 23-year-old goaltender said he’s spent more time in Port Huron this summer than he has since 2010, the summer before his first Ontario Hockey League season in Windsor. It’s not just about relaxing, either. He’s teamed back up with strength and conditioning coach Mike Pearson to prepare for the Stars training camp, which begins on Sept. 19.

“Every time I come out here, I’m getting stronger, faster, more flexible,” Campbell said. “I’ve been really working on my body this summer. More importantly, I come out and work with coach because it really helps my mind. I’ve never felt more at ease and confident at the same time. It’s been a great summer.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jack+campbell

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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