|Radek Faksa against Florida in last year's preseason
(Credit: Darren Abate)
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!