Thursday, May 5, 2016

Esa Lindell Named Lone Star Grille/100 Degree Hockey Player of the Week

Esa Lindell (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Each week, we name the Lone Star Grille/100 Degree Hockey Player of the Week. Lone Star Grille offers happy hour weekdays from 4-7 PM just minutes from the Cedar Park Center. The new Higher Ground Bar at the Grille is a smoke-free bar open 6 PM to 2 AM Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Redeem your game ticket for reverse happy hour from 10-12 PM with $2 off specialty cocktails, $4.00 house wine and $2.50 domestic longnecks.

Esa Lindell may have picked up an All-Star Game nod this season, but his overall impact to the Texas Stars blue line has probably been under-appreciated by most fans. In last week's game, Lindell was plus-2 with a goal despite the combined score in those games being 12-3 against Texas.

In all likelihood, Lindell won't play more than a dozen games in the AHL next season (if any). He looked serviceable in his first NHL stint earlier this season. Dallas has some decisions to make on the blue line as they are currently scratching three former Texas Stars who could all be contributing in the NHL. The question is whether that is in Dallas or not. Lindell is still on his entry level contract and could be a bargain for Jim Nill and the crew in Big D next season.

Of course, there are a lot of decisions to be made there. Dallas has four D on expiring UFA deals and another on an RFA expiration. Lindell's play this season gives Nill room to play in case negotiations with any of those UFAs gets too rich for his blood.

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