Stars notes in the summer time? Oh, you betcha!
Even Mo Didn’t Do This
Mike Modano was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. He will be officially inducted in November. Well deserved and actually a no-brainer.
Then Jamie Benn tried to one-up him one day later. Well, sorta.
Jamie Benn was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team on Tuesday at left wing, something no other Stars player (Minnesota or Dallas) has ever done. Not Ed Belfour, Not Brett Hull, Not Jere Lehtinen. Not Sergei Zubov (don’t get me started on that). Not Modano.
The Stars have historically had five Second Team All-Stars, but never a First Team.
Benn continues his somewhat quiet ascension as one of the all-time greats to ever wear the Star. Named team captain prior to the beginning of the season, Benn is just 24 years old. He scored the only goal in Canada’s huge win over the United States in the Olympics. Benn led the Stars back to the playoffs, with career-highs in every category – goals (34), assists (45), points (79), and plus/minus (+21).
But Benn measures himself by just one thing – winning, and winning in the post-season.
Don’t be surprised if he starts reaching new peaks in that department as soon as next season.
Brotherly Love at the Draft
If the Stars want to continue their positive momentum of building upon their 2014 strides, this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft in Philly might be the perfect opportunity. Dallas has nine picks over seven rounds in this year’s draft, including the No. 14 overall selection in the first round.
This draft is not as deep on high-end talent as last year, yet the word “deep” remains. There are many players in this draft who could develop into solid NHL players, and they can be found in almost any round. Unlike last year with Val Nichushkin, no one the Stars select this weekend will be playing in Dallas next season. This weekend is about 2017, 2018 and beyond. Unless…
Don’t be surprised if the Stars are in the middle of a deal or two over the weekend. The draft is fertile ground for trades, and Dallas has the prospects and willingness to take on a new contract or two. And there will be plenty of dance partners. Jason Spezza, anyone?
Congratulations to Willie Desjardins, former Stars assistant and coach of the Calder Cup-winning Texas Stars, who was hired Monday as coach of the Vancouver Canucks. The 57-year-old has won wherever he’s been, this being his first opportunity as a bench boss in the NHL.
Desjardins was an excellent assistant for the Stars from 2010-2012, but his talents lie in being a head coach. He won the AHL’s coach of the year award in 2013, when he led Texas to their first South Division regular-season title. Desjardins was also coach and GM of the Medicine Hat Tigers from 2002-2010, leading the team to two Memorial Cup tournaments, including the 2007 final.
Desjardins lobbied then-GM Joe Nieuwendyk in 2011 for consideration for the Dallas head coaching gig that eventually went to Glen Gulutzan. He stayed as an assistant for one season with Gulutzan before joining Texas in 2012-13.
An excellent X’s and O’s man, Desjardins is more of a players’ coach; someone that motivates and gets the most out of his lineup. Given this chance as an NHL coach, don’t be surprised to see the Canucks bounce right back and make the playoffs next year.