Archive for ‘Players’

October 15, 2010

Three in a row!

by Kristine

Did you see that?! The Stars kicked ass last night (pardon my hockey language)! They only managed to get 15 shots on goal, but four of them connected with net. The top lines delivered like they should. The checking line played hard. The fourth line was – well, the fourth line. Lehtonen was solid. The penalty kill actually managed to kill penalties. The powerplay got the game rolling with an almost immediate goal. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the boys really earned that third win, and looked like a real NHL team doing it. I don’t have time to review the whole game today, but we’ll be back later with our +/-. For now I want to touch on a few things…

The Stars had a couple big announcements today. First, in another wise personnel move from GM Joe, the Stars added Gary Roberts as a player development consultant. You might recognize the name. Roberts is the man responsible for Neal’s added bulk this season, and he transformed Steven Stamkos from a bench-warmer into a 50-goal scorer. According to the official press release (here), “Roberts will be working with the Stars’ young players throughout the club’s hockey system, at both the NHL and developmental levels, in tandem with the club’s strength and conditioning team, coaches and trainers.” I can’t wait to see what he can do here, especially with Grossman, Fistric, and Wandell. I’m fully behind this decision although I’m a little surprised we can afford to add another person to our payroll.

The other big news today is that Fabian Brunnstrom has been placed on waivers, and they don’t seem to really care whether he’s picked up by another team or he plays in the AHL all season. According to Heika, Niewendyk attempted to trade Bunny but there were no takers; however, he goes on to quote Neiwendyk as saying, “I know there are some teams interested in him. Whether they claim him or not, I don’t know.” So I guess we can read between the lines there a bit and figure that there are some teams interested, but not interested enough to give up anything to have him. So it will be interesting to see if anyone makes a move to get him now. If not, the plan seems to be for him to stay in Austin for the majority of the season. I appreciate that – he really needs to play every night – but I do wonder why we resigned him only to try to trade him and then, when that didn’t work, send him to the AHL. If we didn’t want him, why didn’t we just let him go?

Finally, THN updated their Hart Trophy Watch today. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s a running feature where Ken Campbell lists the top 10 contenders for the Hart Trophy at a given time, plus a few on the bubble. Richie made the list at #4 this week, with Campbell noting, “The Stars have shocked the hockey world by getting off to a 3-0-0 start, thanks in large part to Richards. After a couple of years of floundering, Richards is busting his way back into star status.” Maybe now people will stop saying how overpaid he is. I know $7.8 million is a lot of money, but where would we be without him? He has 7 points in three games, which puts him on pace for 191 points this season. Obviously that isn’t a realistic number and his point production is guaranteed to slow down, but for now he’s tied with Ovechkin for first in the league in points and he’s tied for the lead in both assists (Ribs is there with him, for the record) and plus-minus (with Loui and Robi included in the five-way tie). If you ask me, he’s worth those big bucks.

October 11, 2010

Ribeiro Made Headlines Today…

by Kristine

…headlines that read something like “Dallas Star Mike Ribeiro Arrested for Public Intoxication.”

I wish I was kidding. I wish I had been able to log in here and write a few thoughts about our first two games, as I had originally planned. I wish one of our players wasn’t that guy.

However.

Let’s look at this from another angle. If you go to the Dallas Morning News Plano Blog (I live in Plano and was unaware such a thing even exists until now), they have a post with the hardcopy of his arrest documents in a nifty little PDF widget. In it, you can find one detail that is being left out of news reports about the incident: somebody he was with was arrested for assault at the same time. Now, I’m not making excuses for Ribeiro. I’m sure a big part of his arrest can be attributed to his mouth – we know how sassy he can be. I can just picture the police showing up because of something his friend did – assault – and Ribs, who has been celebrating a good start to the season and is intoxicated, tries to defend his friend to the police. A commenter on the DMN post points out that often times “arrests of this type are when someone can’t shut up when a police officer tells them to.” From my own experience working in the food industry, and having friends who do as well, this rings very true.

So while I’m not crazy about the negative publicity this is sure to bring to us – overshadowing the good news that we’ve had our best start in four seasons – I’m looking on the bright side. After all, at least it was just a PI charge, not assault. And I’m going to believe that the whole incident wouldn’t have happened if his friend hadn’t assaulted somebody. And honestly, if our players want to celebrate like that once in a while, I don’t really care. If it doesn’t affect their time on the ice, what they do with their time off it is their own business.

Update: The CBS story explains that Ribs, his wife, and another couple were out to dinner and other diners made comments towards the women. Ribs and the other man defended them, but an off-duty officer intervened and escorted them outside, where they were then arrested for PI. So again, please. Give him a little slack here. He might have been drunk, but he was probably arrested unnecessarily.

November 2, 2009

Mr. Monthly Monday: Brad Richards

by Chelsea

Mono. Shoulder problems. Broken wrist, broken hand. Combine all of these things, and you get one overpaid underwhelming center. Last season, we were quick to jump on Brad Richards. He didn’t play to expectations, seemed to be constantly unhappy, and apparently required a leadership role to feel comfortable with the team.

Now he’s (mostly) healthy and has started to look a lot more like the guy who won a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe in Tampa Bay. He seems to really thrive in Crawford’s new system and finally looks like he’s finding a place on the team. From all accounts, he’s become an actual leader and is playing a big role in James Neal’s hot start.

In fact, Richards has a point in 10 of the 12 games he’s played in this season. He’s had 2 or more points in 6 of those games. That comes out to 33 goals and 80 assists (113 points) if he keeps this up for the remaining 68 games. As unlikely as that is, it means he could drop his production by 25% and still challenge for the highest point total in Dallas this season.

In the stretch of four games near the beginning of the season (Oct 6-14) when the power play was at its best (appr. 29.4%), Brad Richards had 3 goals and 5 assists. He had a hand in 3/5 of the power play goals scored. It would be very interesting to see what would happen to his point totals if the special teams started clicking again.

His 17 points are good for 11th best in the entire NHL, and his 12 assists put him in the top 5.

To put it simply… Brad Richards keeps up the good work, and the Stars will almost certainly have a chance to compete for this:

Lastly, for those of you that are not satisfied by this post and/or want to read about the pre-Dallas Richards, there is actually a Brad Richards book. For those of you that fit into the previous categories but not to the extent that you want to hunt down said book, there’s always his Wikipedia page.

October 26, 2009

Steve Ott Punished

by Chelsea

Looks like Ott will be having a hearing tomorrow to discuss his check on Carlo Colaiacovo. Personally, I think the only dirty hit of that game was Ott’s on BJ Crombeen, which was penalized in the game. I also think there have been a number of iffy hits recently across the league, including a very questionable hip check by Rob Scuderi, and the NHL needs to set a precedence for looking into plays where players get injured.

Hopefully the only thing that comes out of this is Ott realizes he needs to slow the goon act a bit.

Update:

Ott has been suspended for two games. The official release is here. He will be eligible to play again on Oct. 31 against Nashville.

There is a quote from Stars captain Brenden Morrow at Andrew’s (link) that sums it up very nicely.

October 22, 2009

Artyukhin Suspended

by Chelsea

The NHL has decided to suspend Evgeny Artyukhin for slew-footing Matt Niskanen. As no penalty was called on the play, it seems likely that someone spoke up and brought it to the league’s attention, and it’s nice to see them take action.

Anaheim forward Evgeny Artyukhin has been suspended for three games without pay by the National Hockey League as the result of a slew-footing (see rule) incident against Dallas Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen, who was injured on the play.

The incident occurred at 4:23 of the second period of Dallas’ 4-2 win at Anaheim on Wednesday night. No penalty was assessed on the play.

Artyukhin, who was suspended for two games Jan. 19, 2009, now is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, Artyukhin forfeits $34,756.11 in salary based on the number of games (82) in a season, rather than the number of days (193). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Artyukhin will miss Saturday’s game against Columbus, Oct. 26 against Toronto and Oct. 30 against Vancouver. He will be eligible to return Oct. 31 at Phoenix.

October 7, 2009

Introducing the Weekly Picture Fantastic

by Kristine

Welcome to the trial run of a new feature here at SHR, the Weekly Picture Fantastic (WPF if that makes it easier for you). Every Wednesday I’ll be selecting my five favorite images of the previous week from various sources, including Flickr, NHL.com, and the new galleries at Andrew’s. The only thing they’ll have in common is that they’ll be Stars-related. Pictures of good plays, funny faces, goal celebrations, the starting line – it’s all fair game.

Since there’s been a lot going on the last few weeks, this first WPF has a few more than five pictures. I went all the way back to pre-season for the first few images…

Alex Auld - Sept 24, 2009 vs COL
Alex Auld got his first start in net for the Stars on September 24 vs Colorado. He looked very positionally sound.

Marty Turco - Sept 16, 2009 vs TBL
…Whereas Turco seems to have already forgotten where his net actually is.

Loui Eriksson, James Neal, Matt Niskanen - Sept 16, 2009 vs TBL
Meet three guys the rest of the league is going to be very scared of someday. Yes, even Nisky.

Jamie Benn, Darryl Sydor - Sept 19, 2009 at STL
Here we have another exciting young guy, Jamie Benn, saving former Star Darryl Sydor from a spider.

Brad Richards - Sept 24, 2009 vs COL
Brad Richards is back with a healthy body, full head of hair, and intense stare.

Mike Ribeiro - October 3, 2009 vs NSH
Finally, the real season began. I’m happy about that for many reasons, one of which is that I can go back to watching Ribs skate around looking like this during warm-up.

Matt Niskanen - October 3, 2009 vs NSH
Niskanen has looked very confident and competent so far this season. His training wheels may finally be coming off for good.

Trevor Daley, Karlis Skrastins, Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro, Jamie Benn - October 6, 2009 at EDM
Our beloved Captain and his faithful sidekick are back, this time with a secret weapon: one Mr. Holy Cow Jamie Benn.

That does it for this week’s WPF. Let us know what you think of this feature in the comments; if you like it, we’ll let it stick around for the whole season.

Individual images can be clicked for larger view. Images are property of their respective owners. As always, special thanks to NHL.com and Shannon Byrne at Andrew’s Stars Page.

October 3, 2009

Contract Info

by Chelsea

CapGeek.com has the breakdown of the new Eriksson and Robidas contracts.

An interesting note: Robidas has a lower cap hit than Eriksson, but will actually have a slightly higher salary in 2010-2011.

October 1, 2009

Robidas Signs Extension

by Chelsea

RDS.ca is reporting that Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas, set to become a UFA at the end of this season, will be signing an extension worth 4 years and $13.2 million.

Here’s the original link in French and the translated one.

Both Robidas and Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk hinted in the offseason that they might like to ink him to a more long-term deal, so this move was not unexpected. If the terms are right, he’ll be signed until he’s 36, with a $3.3 million cap hit.

Edit: Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has confirmed the signing here.

August 4, 2009

SHR’s 2009-2010 Stat Predictions!

by Chelsea

Everyone loves doing predictions this time of year, and we are no exception. However, instead of just haphazardly picking numbers that sound right, I threw some numbers on a spreadsheet and did a little math.

Keep in mind that this does not really take into consideration the coaching or management change, possible linemates, or anything else. It’s based purely on averages and improvement averages and other overly-complicated methods I used to squeeze the future out of the past.

The first set of numbers is stats with projected number of games played. The second is predicted stats with a full season.


Centers:

Mike Ribeiro:
His stats could improve depending on Lehtinen’s health
and Morrow being back.

76 GP, 22-53-75, +3
or
82 GP, 24-57-81, +3

Brad Richards:
He should run the PP, absolutely, but I’m still not convinced
he should be centering the first line.

77 GP, 21-49-70, -10
or
82 GP,22-52-74, -11

Mike Modano:
Yup. He’s still got 20-30-50 talent, if kept mentally
in the game enough.

75 GP, 20-31-51, -6
or
82 GP, 22-34-56, -7

Brian Sutherby:
Kind of hoping we’ll see traces of that 30-point season in 05-06, but…

59 GP, 6-6-12, -2
or
82 GP, 8-8-16, -2

Toby Petersen:
This year will be Petersen’s (last?) chance to prove himself before
possibly hitting free agency.

72 GP, 6-8-15, -3
or
82 GP, 7-9-16, -5

___________________

Left Wings:

Brenden Morrow:
If 07-8 was any indication, he’ll be on fire in 09-10 and will probably
end up with a better season than predicted here.

68 GP, 25-33-58, +17
or
82 GP, 31-40-71, +21

*Loui Eriksson:
C’mon, Loui! Be the first 40-goal scorer in Dallas since 1993-94!

80 GP, 40-28-68, +14
or
82 GP, 41-29-70, +16

James Neal:
I think he’ll hit a small sophomore slump.

80 GP, 26-12-38, -13
or
82 GP, 27-12-39, -13

Steve Ott:
Sure, 64 sounds like a reach, but either 24 goals or 40 assists? That’s doable.

61 GP, 18-30-38, +3
or
82 GP, 24-40-64, +4

___________________

Right Wings:

Jere Lehtinen:
Seeing Lehtinen return to form would be a
wonderful surprise.

54 GP, 13-18-31, +6
or
82 GP, 21-27-48, +9

*Fabian Brunnstrom:
It was tricky predicting GP without him having had the opportunity
to play a full NHL season. I believe he’ll play considerably more than 55 games.

55 GP, 21-8-29, -8
or
82 GP, 31-13-44, -8

Krys Barch:
Like Petersen, this could be Barch’s last chance to prove himself.
The effort will definitely be there, but not sure the numbers will follow.

79 GP, 5-6-11, +2
or
82 GP, 5-7-12, +3


Defensemen:

Matt Niskanen:
If last year was just a sophomore slump, expect his actual stats
to be a lot better that these.

77 GP, 7-28-35, +3
or
82 GP, 8-29-37, +3

Stephane Robidas:
Rewatching the Morrow goal that sent the Sharks packing in 07-8 Made me wonder
why Robidas’ set up skills are not better utilized. Seems like he could do better than 20 assists.

74 GP, 4-19-23, +4
or
82 GP, 4-21-25, +5

Trevor Daley:
Still waiting for Daley to wake up and surprise us all
with a stellar season.

76 GP, 7-17-24, +2
or
82 GP, 7-19-26, +2

Nicklas Grossman:
Like Niskanen, if Grossman’s last season was merely a slump,
this season’s numbers will be much better than predicted.

78 GP, 2-9-11, -3
or
82 GP, 2-10-12, -3

Mark Fistric:
Like with Brunnstrom, it’s hard to predict anything when he hasn’t
had a full NHL season.

40 GP, 1-6-7, +1
or
82 GP, 1-12-13, +2

Andrew Hutchinson:
I’m a little unconvinced that Hutchinson will get much
playing time with Dallas.

42 GP, 3-12-15, +0
or
82 GP, 7-22-29, +1

Karlis Skrastins:
Hard to predict anything, having never really
watched him play.

73 GP, 3-11-14, +1
or
82 GP, 3-12-15, +1

Jeff Woywitka:
Like Skrastins, it’s hard to predict anything having not
watched him play.

61 GP, 3-14-17, +7
or
82 GP, 4-19-23, +10

___________________

Goalies:

Marty Turco:
Hopefully, he’ll actually have a much better season than this.
Stats don’t account for contract years, after all.

68 GP, 34-24-8, 2.50 GAA, .905 SV%
or
82 GP, 42-30-10, 2.50 GAA, .905 SV%

Alex Auld:
Hopefully he will do better than this, or we’ll be doing the
backup goalie shuffle again next offseason.

14 GP, 5-6-3, 2.70 GAA, .906 SV%
or
82 GP, 30-37-15, 2.70 GAA, .906 SV%

*Not sure of which wing these two will play on, as both are technically left wings that may need to play on the right side.


Of course, with the new coaching and management, and without having even hit training camp, this next season is looking to be pretty unpredictable. I will probably even make additions, based on who makes the final roster. Besides, the fun thing about predictions isn’t being right, it’s about going back later and seeing just how wrong you were!

July 2, 2009

Robidas and Morrow Invited to Team Canada Camp

by Chelsea

Stephane Robidas (D) and Brenden Morrow (LW) have been invited to the Team Canada Olympic Orientation Camp. They will be trying out for 2 of 23 available roster spots. There were 46 players invited to the Orientation Camp, and players that were not invited are still eligible to make the team.

Here is the Hockey Canada release, which includes a list of all players invited.

Here’s the Dallas Stars release (and some fun highlight videos.)