It appears Stars defenseman Trevor Daley, who has been out with an upper body injury, could be ready to go for Thursday’s season opener against Florida.
Daley went through a full practice, including competitive drills, Monday morning in Frisco. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he expects Daley to be ready for Thursday’s game.
“I asked him how he felt and he said he’s feeling good,” Ruff said. “I would anticipate that he would be ready to go.”
Daley, who was injured on Sept. 20 in a preseason game against Florida, skated with Jordie Benn in Monday’s practice. The other defense pairs were Alex Goligoski-Sergei Gonchar and Brenden-Dillon Stephane Robidas. Kevin Connauton skated as the seventh defenseman. Ruff said Daley being ready can only help the Stars’ defense.
“He fits the way we want to play,” Ruff said. “Great mobility, great at taking gap and time away from the other team. I thought as the preseason went on we did a better job of that, and he should only add to what we have on that backend.”
Stars work on game situations
The Stars spent part of Monday’s practice working on game situations, including play with and defending against the extra attacker. It’s something Ruff wants to work on over the course of the season to make sure the Stars are prepared when those situations arise.
“There were a couple drills there. We tried to have a pressure drill where knowing that you need a goal, knowing that you are going to take a few more chances, how we would defend it and how we would play it,” Ruff said. “We did the six-on-five. We are going to pick those situations today, tomorrow and next week again. We’re going to try to pick out situations that are going to happen in a game and work on them, stay sharp with them.”
Stars players have mixed opinions on hybrid icing
As Dallas Stars players voted on hybrid icing Monday, there were mixed opinions on the new rule the NHL is considering for this season.
Players have the final say on the issue and a decision is expected today, since the regular season begins on Tuesday.
Hybrid icing calls for the linesman to blow the play dead and call icing immediately if the defending player is leading or tied in the race to the faceoff dots in his defensive zone. The goal is to try to avoid the collisions into the end boards that have led to serious injuries in recent years.
Here are what a few of the Stars players had to say about the rule:
Defenseman Alex Goligoski: “It’s a tough judgment call to make when things are moving that fast. Some will be cut and dried and some won’t be. I don’t know. If we could just keep touch icing and make sure nobody touches anybody that would probably be ideal. I don’t know if that can be done.”
Defenseman Trevor Daley: “I am not a big fan of it. I don’t want to put judgment in the refs’ hands. Let us judge where it goes. The game is played by us, not by them. They get to judge enough out there, we don’t need to be screaming and yelling at them about another thing.”
Goaltender Dan Ellis: “I didn’t mind it. I didn’t think it was all that bad. Some of the players are maybe a little bit against it, but there just needs to be some consistency in the way it is called. I think that is when things get a little more difficult. I think if you can avoid that one or two major injury every season, then it’s worth it.”
Forward Shawn Horcoff: “I like it. I was there in Edmonton when Taylor Fedun broke his leg. It’s more for protection. I like it because I think it still gives you the ability that if it is even and you can outrace them, you can still get the puck, but if there is anything remotely close they are going to blow it down. I don’t know if it makes that big a difference in the game.”
Stars announce opening night roster
The Stars announced their opening night roster on Monday. There are 22 players on the active roster including 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goaltenders.
Forwards: Jamie Benn, Alex Chiasson, Erik Cole, Cody Eakin, Vernon Fiddler, Ryan Garbutt, Shawn Horcoff, Lane MacDermid, Chris Mueller, Valeri Nichushkin, Antoine Roussel, Tyler Seguin, Ray Whitney
Defensemen: Jordie Benn, Kevin Connauton, Trevor Daley, Brenden Dillon, Alex Goligoski, Sergei Gonchar, Stephane Robidas
Goaltenders: Dan Ellis, Kari Lehtonen
Forwards Scott Glennie and Rich Peverley, and defenseman Aaron Rome have been placed on injured non-roster.
Stars practice lineup
Here’s how the Stars lined up in practice on Monday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars.