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Nill expects to sign Nichushkin to two-year deal on July 1

The Stars GM anticipates a more mature player as the forward returns after two years in Russia

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said he expects to announce a contract with forward Valeri Nichushkin when free agency opens on July 1.

The Russian news outlet R-Sport reported earlier this month that the Stars and Nichushkin had agreed on a two-year deal. Nill indicated Thursday evening that report was on the money.

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Stars announce 2018-19 regular season schedule

Dallas will open the campaign with a four-game homestand at American Airlines Center, beginning Oct. 4 against Arizona

by Dallas Stars Staff @DallasStars / Press Release

The Dallas Stars will open the 2018-19 National Hockey League regular season at home on Thursday, Oct. 4 against the Arizona Coyotes. The contest kicks off a four-game homestand for the Stars to open the regular season. Dallas will then travel to Ottawa on Oct. 15 to begin the team's road portion of the schedule.

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Heika: What is it like to be a scout for Stars?

From 'a lot of time on the road' to more than two dozen combine interviews, the job can be tough -- and rewarding

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Gathered in Buffalo last month, the Stars' scouting staff buzzed through 27 player interviews in three days and pored over analytics from physical testing.

But as important as that process is in preparing for the 2018 NHL Draft presented by adidas at American Airlines Center Friday and Saturday, it was merely the conclusion to a hard year acquiring information on these young players. The real work is done on the road in small North American cities or far flung overseas locales.

"This is definitely helpful, but it's what you see during the season that's the most important," Joe McDonnell, the Stars director of amateur scouting, said at the scouting combine. "We want them to be hockey players, so we need to watch them playing hockey."

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Draft gives Stars chance to celebrate hockey in Lone Star State

The big weekend officially kicks off Thursday with 'Texas Hockey Day' at StarCenter Farmers Branch

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

The NHL Draft is one of Jim Lites' favorite events of the year.

"It's such a great time when everyone from the league gets together, you're all optimistic about next season, there's a lot of talk in the air about who you're getting in the draft or maybe possible trades. There's just a lot of energy in the city," said Lites, the Stars CEO.

"I'm really excited to see it here in Dallas."

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Stars to face Coyotes in 2018-19 home opener

Dallas' complete 82-game schedule will be revealed live Thursday on NHL Network

by Press Release @PR_NHL / NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League today announced the home openers for all 31 clubs for the 2018-19 regular season.

The League's complete 1,271-game schedule will be revealed live on NHL Network on Thursday, June 21, at 5 p.m. ET during NHL Tonight: 2018-19 Schedule Release, hosted by Fran Charles and analysts Ken Daneyko and Mike Johnson. The hour-long show will also be streamed live on NHL.com.

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Lucky 13? Five players Stars could take in first round

DallasStars.com's Mike Heika looks at a few names that might be available for host Dallas to open the Draft

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

Drafting 13th overall is a challenge. It's certainly better than drafting 20th, but you still have to wait for a lot of stuff to shake out before you get your guy.

That's especially true this year, as the order of many mock drafts are changing daily and players who were predicted to go after 13th in earlier mocks now are going before -- some significantly before. That means the Stars have to be prepared.

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Mock draft: Dahlin set to go No. 1 -- then it's anyone's guess

Who will be the best player available when the Stars select with the No. 13 overall pick?

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

The 2018 NHL Draft is supposed to be deep, and that creates some interesting challenges when it comes to mock drafts.

Once you get past the first few picks, the boards are all over the place. That's a fun thing if you're a fan, and a scary thing if you're a team. Bottom line: teams like the Stars have to be well-prepared and simply wait out the teams ahead of them. If one team goes off the board and does something unexpected, it creates a ripple effect for all of the teams below them.

The Stars are expected to take the "best player available," so there is a chance they add to their deep group of defensive prospects. But they need a center and it looks like they could have a solid group of forwards to choose from at 13th. That could mean they just have to wait to see which forwards fall.

Here's my best guess on how that plays out:

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League announces order of selection for 2018 NHL Draft

The Stars own eight total picks for the event at American Airlines Center, including No. 13 overall

by Press Release @PR_NHL / NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League announced today the order of selection for the 2018 NHL Draft presented by adidas at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The first round will take place on Friday, June 22 (7:30 p.m., ET/6:30 p.m., CT, NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVAS) and the subsequent rounds (2 through 7) on Saturday, June 23 (11 a.m., ET/10 a.m., CT, NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVAS).

All networks also will feature pre-event coverage on Friday (TVAS at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT, NBCSN and Sportsnet at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT).

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Heika: With positives to build on, Stars have chance to come full circle

To look forward through encouraging eyes, there's a possibility this is all leading to something pretty special

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

I spent the week at a family gathering in Michigan where we had a memorial service for my mom and a graduation party for my niece and nephew, so there were a lot of "circle of life" moments.

At one point, we were watching a slide show where there were wedding pictures of my mom and sister side by side, and someone said words to the effect of: To think, so much of this sprang from those four people. And when you looked around the room at all of the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it was a pretty neat moment.

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Calder Cup Finals: Texas Stars' impressive run ends in Game 7 loss

Toronto cruises past Texas 6-1 in the deciding game to win the AHL championship series

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Texas Stars had a great run in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs -- a run that took them all the way to Game 7 of the championship series against the Toronto Marlies, the top team in the league.

But the run ended in disappointment Thursday as the Marlies won Game 7 and the Calder Cup with a convincing 6-1 victory over the Stars at Ricoh Coliseum.

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