Dallas Stars defenseman Trevor Daley spent time at development camp in Frisco this weekend, and on Sunday morning he suited up, hit the ice with prospects and took part in drills.
“I’m kind of excited to get back at it,” Daley said. “It was a good opportunity to get out, see some of the young guys and move around myself.”
Daley skated with some of the team’s top young defense prospects such as Brenden Dillon, Patrik Nemeth and Jamie Oleksiak, and with top forward prospects Alex Chiasson, Radek Faksa, Scott Glennie, Brett Ritchie, Reilly Smith and Matej Stransky.
“Some of the skill the kids have out there is a little shocking,” said Daley. “I was like ‘I need to be out here.’ It’s promising.”
|Daley with prospect Brenden Dillon on ice prior to the Stars final home game of the 2011-12 season. |
Daley also sees plenty of promise in what the Stars have done this offseason, but change is always tough. He’s excited about the additions of Jaromir Jagr, Ray Whitney, Aaron Rome, Cody Eakin and Derek Roy, but he’s sad to see the departure of long-time teammates Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro.
“There are mixed emotions, obviously,” he said. “I’m happy for the team and the direction we’re going. When you get to bring in world-class players like that, it’s really special. You can see the direction the team is heading and it’s feeling really special around here. But at the same time, you lose some guys you’ve gotten close to over the last couple years. The business is what it is, so you roll with the punches.”
The departure of Ott was particularly tough for Daley, who broke into the NHL in 2003-04, just one year after Ott.
“’Otter’ has been here ever since I’ve been here. We’ve been roommates, we’ve lived across the street from each other,” Daley said. “We were close and it is sad to see him go, but we’ll never stop being friends. It’s the business we’re in.”
The offseason moves leave Daley as the second longest-tenured Dallas Star, as only Brenden Morrow has been with the team longer. Daley’s leadership role has grown in recent years and he should take on a bigger role this season.
“It’s always been going that way, and I’ve always tried to get a bit better every year,” he said. “That comes with age too. I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be an exciting year. We’re excited for the new guys to come in, and we’re excited for a fresh start.”
This week, however, is about the team’s prospects. And Daley likes what he’s seen of the Stars’ kids, and he knows they are an important part of the equation in building a winner.
“Nowadays, to win Stanley Cups, you’ve got to build from within,” Daley said. “And some of these young guys have to be a big part of what we’re trying to do up here in order for us to win. It is exciting.”