Monday, June 10, 2013

Around the League: Gonchar Signing Will Impact Texas Prospects

Jamie Oleksiak (Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)
The Dallas Stars announced over the weekend that Sergei Gonchar, vet defenseman most recently of Ottawa, was signed to a two-year deal that will see him become a staple of the blue line in Big D. According to most reports, the 39-year old was brought in largely as a power play specialist and situational guy.

The other big piece of the puzzle is his mentorship. Many have pointed to his time with the Senators' Erik Karlsson, who won the Norris Trophy last season, as positive evidence of that. With so many young defensive prospects in the system, it is a very good time for the Stars to acquire a veteran blue liner who can teach the younger kids 'how to be pros'. You don't rack up over 1,100 games of NHL service by accident. Between Robidas and Gonchar, the younger players like Oleksiak, Dillon, etc. will have a chance to learn all the little things that have kept those two going for a combined 2,000+ NHL contests.

Of course, the other piece of the effect on the Texas prospects will be that the Stars' have now occupied another spot on their blue line. This means that it is more likely that a player like Oleksiak, COnnauton or Gaunce is more likely to stay in Texas than get the NHL callup to start the coming season.

Elsewhere around the league:
  • Syracuse and Grand Rapids are off to an interesting start. After the Crunch absolutely dominated the East in the first three rounds, the Griffins have gotten the better of them in two games at home. Will Syracuse be able to change the story on the road?

  • Interestingly, the teams that made the AHL Final have two of the most active beat writers in the league. You should read them. Follow Lindsay Kramer on Syracuse.com and the various writers at MLive.com.

  • Tend the Farm is closing down the OKC Barons season with a few posts. Similar to this site they have a summary of the current roster's contracts for next season. They've also put up a 'Season in Pictures' post, which is rather nice. [Tend the Farm]

  • Reports are that Dallas Eakins is the next coach of the Edmonton Oilers. He was a rumoured frontrunner for a few jobs around the league, including the one in Dallas. How does that change the dynamic of Dallas's coaching decision, which they want to make before the Draft on June 30th? [Puck Daddy]

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