|Ty Dellandrea (Credit: Dallas Stars)|
Initially, Texas was holding out Dellandrea after he went hard into the boards on Sunday in his final game with Flint. "I’m feeling good," he told 100 Degree Hockey today. "I was a little banged up in the last game, but I got a couple days to rest and I’m feeling good now."
The young center is excited to get started in Texas. After playing for a club that was virtually eliminated from the playoffs months ago, Dellandrea noted he is "excited to play some fun, competitive, high-end hockey." He's already gelling with the guys, many of whom he knows from camp, "I think I first noticed that it was a fun group of guys. They’re all laughing, enjoying each other and having a good time. It’s fun to come in and they made it easy to feel welcome. It’s fun to learn from them already."
As to what he will bring, he adds, "I’m an all-around forward. I take care of my own end first, make sure all those boxes are checked, and then I can bring some offense too."
The lineup that we saw at practice did not include Dellandrea so things will shift based on his insertion. However, Rhett Gardner, Josh Melnick and Joe Cecconi will all play. As of this morning, Melnick was set to center Denis Gurianov and Colin Markison while Gardner would center the third line. Things might shuffle around with Dellandrea at center now.
Cecconi will slide in next to Ben Gleason, which really fits his mold from college where he played opposite offensive phenom Quinn Hughes. Coach Laxdal added, "Cecconi has played with some real offensive defensemen so he has a pedigree of being a shutdown guy and defending for those offensive guys, so we put him with Gleason."
As to how these players will integrate, Coach Laxdal is just looking to keep it simple for them, "We don’t give them too much, just try to give them the basics of how we play and what we want to see. These players are coming off playoff highs of getting eliminated and now they have to change their mindset again to get ready to play. They’ve got to ramp it up a bit, but they’re going to be thrown right in."
Without a chance to work on special teams, I don't anticipate a big debut for any of them on the power play. With Thursday's practice, however, it makes sense that Gardner could be a netfront player on the PP on Friday and Dellandrea would be added to the unit as well.