With three solid days of hockey practice punctuating lobster eating and strolling through Charlottetown’s quaint city streets under my belt I reflect on my time here and the experiences of meeting for the first time our new players and staff. The other day I wrote about first year NHL coach Glen Gulutzan, about his enthusiastic and meticulous approach, and I shared observations of how he and his staff was being received. He continues to gain early positive reviews as his team begins to process his instructions and commands.
There are many new faces. I interviewed Brenden Dillon
for the website ( watch here
) and have been impressed by not only him but many of our young prospects and recruits. It’s hard to get tangible evidence one way or the other now – but I expect to see Dillon with the big club at some point this year – and either this season or next some of the other fuzzy-faced hopefuls too will probably be around for a look.
But roughly 1/3 of our lineup will be new. I tried to spend at least a few minutes with each one of the new boys, and have watched them a bit more closely during practices and the scrimmage last night. Here some quick thoughts;
– word on the street is Dave Tippett was borderline distraught when the Coyotes were unable to keep him. Fiddler was his security blanket – out for important faceoffs and always getting the plumb checking assignments. In the first moments of an “unimportant” pre-season scrimmage he dove out to block a shot from the point – that tells us a lot.Sheldon Souray
– 6-4,223 – he looks all of it and seems to be playing and practicing with a bit of a snarl. He’s left a miserable situation in Edmonton and I’m pretty sure is looking at this as a season where he has something to prove. An extra whack here and there in the practices and scrimmages and that big bomb from the point gets us all to nudge up a little in our seats.Adam Pardy
– very good skater for his size and he looks terrific paired with Souray as the Stars “Twin Towers” pair. A polite and respectful guy from this part of the world – his hometown has a population of 2,500. He too had some things to deal with in Alberta and is thrilled to be in Dallas. Radek Dvorak
– the 34 year old Czeck could have probably played with other teams but was a teammate of Joe Nieuwendyk’s in Florida and felt good about Joe and what we’re trying to do here. He’s an elegant skater and will be a great fit on the 3rd line – and we’ll see him as a really diligent soldier and glue guy. I spent a few minutes with him the other day and found him to be very sincere and thoughtful – the kind of person you like immediately. He’ll be great here.Jake Dowell
– another guy to beef up our lower six forwards. Another Wisconsin guy and former teammate of Burrish’s with the Hawks. He’s quiet and soft-spoken off the ice but competitive on it. Michael Ryder
– coming off a Stanley Cup championship run with the Bruins Ryder is here to replace some of the missing scoring in the top 6 forward group. He had a good year and a very good playoffs – and as we all know – those guys are great to have around. He’s engaging and energetic – always has an eager smile and you can tell he’s really thrilled to be here.Eric Godard
– definitely marches to his own beat – and is exactly what you’d expect from a guy with his reputation and for what we’re looking for this year. There has been a ground swelling of comments like this though – “he’s got some skill too…” – and that never hurts.
The Stars will bust out of here for Montreal Tuesday afternoon and we’ll broadcast the game on radio at 6:30 Dallas time Tuesday night from Montreal (SportsRadio 1310 “The Ticket”.) It will be our lone preseason broadcast – tune it in and start forming your own first impressions.