Last week I signed a book deal with Triumph Publishing to write “100 Things Stars Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.”
The book is scheduled to come out in October 2018, and it’s going to be a collection of essential stories and memories for Stars fans.
Most of the writing will be done this summer (a benefit of what will be an unfortunately long off-season in Dallas), and I already have a preliminary list of chapters and ideas for book.
That preliminary list can always change, and likely will at least a dozen times. I also want the book to best serve readers.
Do you have a favorite unique Stars memory or oddity? I’d love to hear about it. You can always reach me through Twitter or email.
Let’s get started with the mailbag:
is Gurianov Val 2.0? i remember seeing that Denis likes it here but I just want to make sure. Can't afford to lose his talent
— Stars (@Stars24_7) March 23, 2017
Denis Gurianov and Valeri Nichushkin may share a nationality, but they are very different players and people.
Nichushkin came over to the NHL with the understanding he’d never play in the AHL. Gurianov pushed to get out of his KHL contract and made the family decision to play in the AHL this season.
I wouldn’t worry about Gurianov pulling a similar move to Nichushkin and going back to Russia. He’s worked hard to get comfortable with the Stars organization, and has committed to working his way up in North America.
Any bright side to this season?
— Shanny Claus is coming to town to punch nazis (@Shannysland) March 23, 2017
Devin Shore, Adam Cracknell, Curtis McKenzie.
Will Pateryn be a regular in the lineup next season (Jordie Benn-like role)? Or will he end up rotating like Oleksiak/Nemeth?
— Johnson, Zach (@zachj10) March 21, 2017
It really depends on who the coach is. However, if I were making the decision Greg Pateryn is your ideal seventh defensemen.
He has a low cap-hit ($800,000) for next season and he plays a simple enough game where he could step in and play 20 to 25 games.
Ideally my three right-handed defensemen in the lineup every night are John Klingberg, Stephen Johns, and Julius Honka.
w/ Eakin protected, could Dickinson be traded in a package for D or goalie? Curious how he fits in with 4 centers ahead of him?
— Robby Campbell (@FantasyNewsAqu) March 22, 2017
Hypothetically Jason Dickinson could be used as part of a trade package for a goalie or defensemen.
However, classifying him as a center and seeing that as a roster road block is a bit short-sighted. The Stars have a history of turning traditional centers into full-time wingers (Jamie Benn), while other traditional centers have spent most of this season on the wing (Devin Shore, Tyler Seguin).
If Dickinson makes the NHL roster next season, he’ll likely be used in a similar role to Devin Shore and play both center and wing.
Hopefully not too late…
Is Bayreuther instantly our #2 D prospect after Honka?
— Gavin Wilkinson (@Gwilkers96) March 23, 2017
That’s a fair assessment.
I’ve yet to watch Gavin Bayreuther in person, but I’ve watched video from his three AHL games so far and I’d be confident labeling him as the Stars second-best defensive prospect behind Julius Honka.
The next issue of Dallas Stars Prospect Insider comes out next week, and I’m still working out the updated top-10 rankings.
lot of UFA and RFA in CP. Who goes, who stays?
— Harry Wagstaff (@jasonfivash) March 21, 2017
Let’s just take a look at the NHL-contracted players in the AHL right now.
Restricted free agents:
Ludwig Bystrom – Likely qualified and back in Cedar Park.
Mattias Backman – Was assigned to the Hershey Bears at AHl movement deadline. Likely qualified, but I don’t expect him to play for the Stars next season.
Nick Ebert – Qualified and back in Cedar Park.
Gemel Smith – Qualified and back in Cedar Park.
Justin Hache – Qualified and back in Cedar Park.
Mark McNeill – Qualified and back in Cedar Park.
Maxime Lagace – Qualified and back in Cedar Park.
Matej Stransky – Qualified and back in Cedar Park.
Unrestricted free agents:
Justin Dowling – Will have a contract offer from Stars.
Justin Peters – Likely not back with Stars next season.
Dustin Stevenson – Likely not back with Stars next season.
Travis Morin – Likely back with Stars next season.
Thoughts on vet players leadership on the Texas Stars. Good/Bad? Changes? Resign?
— Bejodu (@Bejodu59) March 21, 2017
Just went over this a bit with pending free agents in Cedar Park. To expand a bit, Morin is probably back with the Texas Stars as the captain next season.
Brandon DeFazio, who is on an AHL contract, will also likely be back next season in Texas. The Stars will also likely sign another AHL veteran to help the Texas Stars next season.
Faksa and Eakin: Who is the 3rd line C next season and how will the player that isn't be used?
Will the Stars resign Nemeth?
— E (@plastigsten) March 21, 2017
Patrik Nemeth is a restricted free agent and the Stars will extend him a qualifying offer.
The center depth will depend on how the coach uses his players, so hard to judge at this moment without a clear picture of who the new coach will be.
what do you think about the NHL bracket system? Trying to keep divisional rivals as opposed to reseeding the conference?
— AndrewGifford4 (@AndrewGifford4) March 21, 2017
I’m fine with a set bracket, it allows the NHL to run a bracket contest — which can attract casual fans.
However, I would prefer the old first-through-eighth playoff system with the divisional winners getting the top seeds and using that to set the bracket.
What are some good sources to learn about hockey analytics?
— Chris Joslin (@ChrisJoslin) March 21, 2017
which G more likely to be bought out? Will Stars be active w/ UFAs considering more cap space this offseason?
— DallasSportsFan (@TheCrafty71) March 21, 2017
Why doesn't Dallas utilize AHL for rehab more? For example Hemsky could have used AHL for 1-2 gm ramp, also spark attendance
— dschneider (@TheDS) March 22, 2017
Teams can send a player to the AHL on a 14-game conditioning stint, which doesn’t require waivers. Dallas did this twice this season already with Jamie Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth.
When it comes to veteran players coming off injury, like Ales Hemsky, it typically requires player approval.
However, it makes sense to utilize conditioning stints as a tool when you have that option.
if Jamie goes to the World Championship, is there a chance he will be the Captain of Team Canada?
— Florian Wieser (@fwieser55) March 22, 2017
I’m sure Jamie Benn would be an option to captain Team Canada at the World Championships if he went.
LV gets to negotiate with FA's prior to exp draft. Any rules to prevent negotiations for July 1 (i.e. tampering)?
— Niko Johnson (@StarsFanNiko) March 22, 2017
Vegas technically isn’t allowed to make any “drawer deals,” which would be classified as agreeing to a deal but waiting to sign until after expansion draft to get an extra player.
However, nothing is stopping the Golden Knights from having discussions and then signing that player after said player looks at other options on the market.
what do your think about this Shane Loan guy from The Phoenix Coyotes? Should Stars make a move for him this offseason? 😜
— Kristen Reinhard (@KristenRenee) March 22, 2017
Thank you for making it all the way through this week’s podcast.
who are you taking in the Frozen Four?
— Zach Frost (@ZWal93) March 23, 2017
If you’re interested in a Frozen Four pool, go to pickemhockey.com and join the group I made. The group name is “WSOTRLPickEm” and the password is “DallasStars”
In my bracket I have Denver, Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, and Western Michigan in the Frozen Four.
What made you want to be a Hockey Journalist?
— William Shawn Ladd (@ShawnSN385) March 23, 2017
I’ve known I wanted to be a journalist since I was in seventh grade at George Washington Middle School in Wayne, New Jersey.
One of the english teachers put together a school newspaper that came out each month, and the first story I wrote was a preview for the 2001-02 NHL season.
A copy of that “newspaper” — essentially 20 sheets of printer paper stapled together — is somewhere in a box in my parents’ basement.