Let’s start today with some positive hockey news in DFW.
Earlier this week the Frisco Varsity Gold team claimed Texas’ first-ever high-school hockey national championship.
Frisco won the Combined Division title (for teams comprised of players form multiple high schools) in undefeated fashion in six game at the tournament and outscored 31-16. Frisco defeated defending national champion J.W. Mitchell (Florida) 7-4 in the semifinal and eased past Missoula (Montana) 5-0 in the championship game.
Frisco’s Jacob Plattner finished as the tournament’s third-leading scorer (5G, 4A in 6 GP) and goaltender James Gillilan turned in a 27-save shutout in the championship game to earn his tournament-leading fifth win.
Congratulations to the players, parents, coaches, and everyone else involved with that program.
Ok, let’s get started with the mailbag…
Has Dickinson impressed you the last couple of games? Any chance Bayreuther plays next year.
— Justin Schmidt (@JustinSchmidt24) April 7, 2017
I asked Jason Dickinson about his health on Wednesday morning and he told me roughly three weeks ago he woke up and his hip finally felt good.
It’s about eight months since the off-season surgery and it had been a struggle all season, but for whatever reason three weeks ago it was back to 100 percent.
“I wish I knew what I did to make it feel better,” Dickinson said. “But it just kind of felt normal again and it was bothering me anymore.”
And his recent play has backed up those claims. He’s got goals in back-to-back NHL games and I think he could be a key member of the Stars next season.
In my mind Gavin Bayreuther is still a season away from NHL duty. He’ll be a very good AHL defenseman next season, and will be ready for the NHL in time for the 2018-19 season.
Can we end with something positive/optimistic for next season?
— Kristen Reinhard (@KristenRenee) April 7, 2017
Mattias Janmark looks like he’ll be healthy and ready to go for next season, and he should be a nominee for the Masterton Award next season after dealing with a genetic knee disorder.
It’s not the reason they fell so far, but Janmark’s absence this season hurt. He was a reliable two-way forward that made up for the defensive deficiencies of other forwards, particularly consistent line mate Jason Spezza.
Janmark has also learned quite a bit from this lost season. Talking to him you can tell he’s gotten good perspective on the game and while difficult, the injury has helped him grow personally.
Besides Honka, what is the best thing to look forward to next year?
— Jason (@dfwhockeyfan) April 7, 2017
I actually think there are quite a few things to look forward to for next season.
Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin will each have a lengthy off-season and can enter the season fully healthy. A new coach should add some life to this franchise, while I think unknown off-season trades will drastically change how this team looks before October.
Either way, I think June is going to be a very exciting month and will start to shape the 2017-18 team in a positive way.
How quickly do you see Dallas making a coaching change this off-season?
— Chris Joslin (@ChrisJoslin) April 6, 2017
Exit interviews are on Monday. I would expect an announcement around that time about the current coaching staff.
I think you’ll have to wait a couple weeks for a new coach to be announced. Because the Stars may be interested in talking to top assistants who are currently working in the playoffs.
Dal/Tex MVP, most disappointing, sleeper, surprise, comeback, etc
— Bejodu (@Bejodu59) April 6, 2017
I’m just going to give Adam Cracknell all of those awards since he’s been the best story this season.
Whitch player of 2017draft (top 10 pick) is most suitable to @DallasStars
— Joshik TROLIK (@JoshikT) April 7, 2017
I haven’t done all my draft prep yet, so can’t give you a fair answer right now.
I’ll have a full draft guide in June that will answer such questions.
Do the Texas Stars bring back Travis Morin for another season. And do you see the team ever retiring his number when he is done.
— William Shawn Ladd (@ShawnSN385) April 6, 2017
I expect Travis Morin to be a member of the Texas Stars next season.
Morin and his family are very comfortable in the Austin area and they built a house in the area before last season. The bigger question is what type of contract Morin will sign with the Stars.
He could get an NHL two-way contract, but at 33 Morin has moved past the point of being an NHL call-up option. So the Stars could sign him to an AHL contract for the same amount of money ($325,000 in the minors) and save an NHL contract, if Morin would accept an AHL deal.
And yes, I fully expect No. 23 to hang from the rafters at H-E-B Center after he retires.
Not a question, but we go from 1st in the Western Conference, to not even making the playoffs…sports suck sometimes
— Alex Ferguson (@alexferg19) April 7, 2017
Look at it this way. If you endured this season and the Stars are good next season, it’ll feel even sweeter.
how do we get the greenlight to have travel pups/pups on hand to boost morale?
— Kylie Austin (@kaustinsoccer) April 7, 2017
It’ll take a group effort, but if we can convince all the players to add that clause to their respective contracts we could be in business.
Know anything about the padded compression shirts some players wear under their pads? Added protection? Any idea where I could get one?
— Taylor Holt (@tay18rholt) April 7, 2017
I’ll make a note to ask if I get the chance.
What is your favorite color?
— Court (@CourtLee_8) April 7, 2017
What Is the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow?
— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) April 7, 2017
African or European?
Why do I think of an ice cream sandwich whenever I see your avatar?
— Low T-Pain (@GringoGuey) April 7, 2017
You are not the first person to ask me that question.