Monday, September 8, 2014

Your Guide to the Rest of the Offseason

Radek Faksa against Florida in last year's preseason
(Credit: Darren Abate)
The AHL's schedule release was the last big news of the summer before the whole thing gets started again. Let's take a look at the timeline for the rest of the offseason, leading up to Texas's first home game on October 11th.

Traverse City Camp — September 11-16

Texas Stars head coach Derek Laxdal's first coaching experience with his new organization will be the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. Hosted by the Red Wings each year in the northern Michigan town of Traverse City, the tourney features the prospects of eight different NHL teams. Those tend to be the younger prospects. Think Brendan Ranford and Philippe Desrosiers but not Brett Ritchie or Curtis McKenzie.

The full roster and schedule has been posted already. It's good to see the team  succeed in this tourney, but I wouldn't peg too much to winning it. It's mostly a chance for team front office guys to get a look at what they have in some of the younger players and how they work together. It is also Derek Laxdal's first look at a lot of these players who will end up on his roster either this year or soon in the future.

Dallas Training Camp — September 19-21

Dallas Stars camp returns to Fort Worth this year for the second year under the leadership of Jim Nill and Lindy Ruff. There are going to be a lot of names familiar to Texas Stars fans fighting for roster spots.

Some of them are pretty locked into a place in Dallas, it's just a question of which line. One example is Colton Sceviour, who has been rumored as a potential top six forward with Jason Spezza as his center.

Others will be fighting for a chance in the lineup at all, such as Curtis McKenzie, Brett Ritchie, Cameron Gaunce and even Travis Morin. Another matchup to watch will be the battle for the backup role behind Kari Lehtonen. Jussi Rynnas and Anders Lindback are both on one-way deals and hoping to take the load off the top tender, Lehtonen. The loser of that battle will come to Cedar Park.

Dallas Preseason Games — September 22-30

Dallas will play six preseason games, which should feature a lot of Texas Stars players. The first will be just two weeks from today, but they won't be broadcast in the Austin area.

Texas training camp — Late September

Dates are not set quite yet for the Texas Stars training camp. However, usually camp starts after a few preseason games have happened for the NHL side and some NHL contracted guys have been assigned.

Texas Preseason Games — October 3-5

Texas will play just two AHL preseason games this season, one each against familiar foes San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Both will be at home. Those games will bookend the big event though...

Dallas v. Texas Scrimmage — October 4

Dallas will bring their squad to Cedar Park to play a scrimmage on Saturday, October 4th. The format of the scrimmage has yet to be announced, but Jim Lites said around the announcement that the teams will be taking it seriously. Still, you can anticipate an All-Star game like atmosphere, as no one wants to get hurt in an exhibition game just before the season starts.

First Games — October 9 and 11

Dallas opens a season full of expectations against a team that almost made it to the Stanley Cup Final last season, Chicago, on October 9th. Texas will raise their banners against the Iowa Wild two nights later on October 11th.

And we're off!

2 comments:

  1. Will Campbell start as goalie ahead of whoever gets sent down? How do you think the playing time will shake out with the knocking-on-the-doorstep high potential Campbell versus the presumably NHL-caliber backup Rynnas or Lindback?

    I would assume Campbell gets the vast majority of starts, but damn, it'll be hard to look at one of the other guys sitting on the bench so often knowing they'd be a great starter as well.

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    Replies
    1. It's going to be weird for whoever gets sent down. They will probably get a minority of the starts. They want Jack to take the reins this year. That means the loser of the backup battle in Dallas will probably go to the backup role in Texas.

      It's worth noting both goalies are on one-way deals, so they get paid their NHL salaries no matter what. Rynnas is the cheaper of the two at 562,500. Lindback makes 925,000.

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