Benn Right on Schedule

Posted on August 2nd, by Stephen Hunt in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

FRISCO—Just over two weeks after undergoing surgery for a core muscle issue, Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn appears ready to resume skating as soon as this week.

“I feel pretty good. I’m making progress,” Benn said on Saturday after an event at Stars headquarters for the Little Rookies program. “Much like last summer [after my double-hip surgery], these things take time. The hardest part is just trying not to do too much too early.”

Benn, 27, is also just over two weeks removed from signing an eight-year, $76 million contract extension that will pay him $9.5 million per season, putting him among the NHL’s highest-paid players, and keep him wearing Victory Green at least through the end of the 2024-25 campaign.

Of course, the bump in pay is nice for Benn, who won the 2015 Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s point leader, … Read More »

Stars Fans Get Christmas in July

Posted on July 20th, by Stephen Hunt in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

DALLAS—Jim Nill played Santa Claus for Dallas Stars fans last Friday night.

Speaking at an event at Klyde Warren Park to unveil banners for the 2016 Central Division and Western Conference regular-season titles, Nill, the Stars’ GM since 2013, saved his biggest announcement for last, revealing an eight-year, $76 million contract extension for captain and face of the franchise Jamie Benn. The mega-deal keeps the 26-year-old Benn in Dallas through the end of the 2024-25 campaign.

“When you’re building a franchise, there’s certain players that are important to the franchise and he’s as good as anybody there is,” Nill said. “He’s one of the top players in the NHL, one of the top forwards. He’s in the prime of his career. He’s the leader of our team, and he’s a great person on top of it.”

Unfortunately, Benn was not present Friday evening, … Read More »

What Now For the Stars?

Posted on May 18th, by Stephen Hunt in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

FRISCO—No, it wasn’t a dream. Yes, the Dallas Stars’ season actually did come to a screeching halt with a 6-1 loss in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals to the St. Louis Blues last Wednesday at American Airlines Center. And now that the season is over, the work begins anew for general manager Jim Nill and the organization.

First up is the 2016 NHL Draft, where the Stars will pick 25th, but won’t have another selection until the fourth round. Last week, Dallas signed Russian forward Denis Gurianov, its top pick from the 2015 draft. Gurianov will play in North America next season, but it’s tough to say how NHL-ready he is.

Dallas has eight unrestricted free agents, including defensemen Jordie Benn, Jason Demers, Alex Goligoski and Kris Russell. Role players including Patrick Eaves, Vernon Fiddler and Colton Sceviour are also … Read More »

There’s Nothing Like the Playoffs

Posted on May 6th, by Chuck Cooperstein in All, Basketball, Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, hockey, NBA, NHL. No Comments

I have a saying I’ve stuck with forever when it comes to sports watching: “Playoff anything is better than regular season anything.” And thus, with all due respect to the start of the baseball season, and the NFL Draft of which everyone can’t seem to get enough, the NBA and NHL Playoffs are what are on my screen each and every night.

I’d like to tell you about the local NBA team making it’s name in the playoffs, but unfortunately the Mavericks were just too outmanned and too injured to really make Oklahoma City sweat (it was the ultimate bringing a knife to a gunfight), and thus the long off season of trying to figure out how to make this team better has begun.

But it’s a different story on the ice at the AAC. Let me tell you about the Dallas … Read More »

Blues Thump Stars 6-1

Posted on May 4th, by Stephen Hunt in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

For the first time in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Dallas Stars trail a series. Thanks to six unanswered goals in Game 3 by the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night at Scottrade Center, the Blues lead the second-round playoff series 2-1.

Game 3 started promisingly when Stars forward Colton Sceviour scored his second goal of the playoffs 4:44 into the first period. However, as in Game 2 on Sunday and at points during the regular season, that lead didn’t last. Fifty-seven seconds later, Alex Steen tied it after a Dallas turnover inside their zone.

And St. Louis kept on scoring to win this one going away.

“It’s hard when you lose like that in the playoffs. In the playoffs, you’ve got to have a short memory, so we’ll move on and get ready for the next one,” Stars captain Jamie Benn, … Read More »

Stars Undeterred by Underdog Tag

Posted on April 29th, by Stephen Hunt in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

FRISCO—Well, there appears to be a consensus the last couple of days: the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be the end of the road for the Dallas Stars.

Dallas, the top seed in the Western Conference, who eliminated the Minnesota Wild in six games, 4-2, in the opening round will now face Central Division rivals the St. Louis Blues. Many expect the Stars to bow out against the Ken Hitchcock-coached Blues. Every writer for The Dallas Morning News picked St. Louis, while all but lone soul on NHL.com also picked the Blues to advance to the West Finals.

But what do those in the Stars room think of these predictions?

“It’s the second round, anything can happen,” Stars forward Ales Hemsky, who had three points in the first round, said on Thursday. “The goal is always to pass the first … Read More »

Deserved Day Off For Stars

Posted on April 22nd, by Stephen Hunt in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

DALLAS—By splitting the two games at Xcel Energy Center earlier this week, the Dallas Stars, who now lead their best-of-7 first-round playoff series with the Minnesota Wild 3-1 after a win on Wednesday in the Twin Cities, deserved a day off.

So that’s what they got from Stars head coach Lindy Ruff yesterday. Due to Wednesday’s game not starting until 8:30 PM CT, Dallas didn’t leave Minnesota until Thursday morning and once the players deplaned their charter flight at Dallas Love Field, they had the rest of the day off.

Veteran winger Patrick Eaves, who has two goals and three points in the series, agreed that’s a good thing. “Yeah, we need to be with our families. I think that’s important too, get away from the rink. Yeah, we’re going to do our best to do that,” Eaves said.

Dallas, who hasn’t won … Read More »

Stars Playoff Preview With Luds

Posted on April 13th, by ScoreBoardTX in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

It’s that time of year again when the most exciting tournament in sports is about to begin – The Stanley Cup Playoffs.  And that means it’s time to check in again with our go-to hockey guy, former Stars defensemen, two-time Cup winner and current Fox Sports SW analyst for the Dallas Stars – Craig Ludwig.

ScoreBoardTX: OK Luds, the Stars have exceeded all expectations this year by not only winning the Central Division but also securing the best record in the Western Conference (after missing out on the playoffs last year). With everything that they’ve accomplished already, how high has the bar now been set? How deep do they have to go for this season to be considered a success?

Luds: When you finish on top of arguably the toughest division in the NHL, and first in the Western Conference, expectations will … Read More »

Morrow Retires a Star

Posted on March 17th, by John Rhadigan in All, Dallas Stars, NHL. No Comments

My cameraman Fitz is still mad at me some ten years later. We were at the home of a local professional athlete doing a long form interview. As we were packing up the gear the player asked if we wanted to have a beer. He had already told us that he was going to the Cowboys Monday Night Football game that night. I didn’t want to delay his process so I politely declined.

Fitz was beside himself as we left. “Are you f-ing kidding me?”  He continued, “We could have had a beer with Brenden Morrow!?!”

So as Brenden signed a one day contract so he could retire a Dallas Star and bid a tearful good bye to the game he loves yesterday, I thought of that day when I stood in the captain’s Highland Park living room and declined having a … Read More »

Stars Getting Back to Basics

Posted on January 13th, by Stephen Hunt in All, Dallas Stars, hockey, NHL. No Comments

FRISCO—This was not the start to a span of five days between games that the Dallas Stars were looking for.

On Saturday, the Stars, who still hold the best record in the Western Conference at 29-11-4 for 62 points, lost 2-1 to Central Division rival the Minnesota Wild at American Airlines Center. And considering Dallas doesn’t return to the ice until Friday night at the Anaheim Ducks, captain Jamie Benn, who along with center Tyler Seguin is one of two All-Stars on the squad, wanted to finish that stretch of games with a win.

Instead, the Stars are now just 1-4-0 over their past five games.

Despite the disappointing loss on Saturday, Stars head coach Lindy Ruff gave his players Monday off (following Sunday’s CBA-mandated off day) and Benn liked what he saw from his teammates in practice on Tuesday morning.

“We played a … Read More »