Monthly Archives: July 2013

Eric Nystrom is Better Than You

Can we just talk about how Eric Nystrom took an hour out of his life to respond to fans’ Twitter messages?

Nystrom twitter

He didn’t have to do this, but he did. It’s so rare to find a professional athlete who is as open, honest, and classy as Eric Nystrom is. Players can say they care about their fans, and most truly mean it, but Nystrom takes it to a whole new level. He reads our messages and appreciates them and then takes the time to respond back, even if it’s a simple thank you.

I’m going to really miss this guy. I support former Dallas Stars, but I rarely take special interest in them once they’ve departed. Jussi Jokinen has been an exception to that rule, but I think that Nystrom will become the newest exception. He’s a truly good guy, and I wish so much we could have kept him. But that’s how hockey goes; we have to let go and it hurts sometimes.

Eric Nystrom was one of the best stories from the past couple of seasons and a definite highlight in Joe Nieuwendyk’s tenure. Joe traded a random late-round draft pick to take on Nystrom’s full salary so we could meet the cap floor (ugh, terrible times). And then Nystrom flourished here, scoring a career-high 16 goals that season. Last year, he provided great leadership down the stretch when the Stars made their crazy little run for a playoff spot.

Tonight, Ny posted a hilarious Vine documenting his new signing. He’s the literal best.

Nice signing, Preds. You got a good one.

Advertisements

Loui, Loui! (One More Time)

Loui, 2008 plyoffs

 

GM Jim Nill secured the future for the Stars by trading away the present, and as a result we have to say good-bye to a truly wonderful person and player.

For me, the hardest part about trading Loui is the fact that it feels like we’re losing Jere Lehtinen all over again. Jere was a Stars-lifer, but Loui is as highly regarded as his Finnish counterpart.  They were very similar players, which I will go into below.

As for the guy he got traded for, Loui and Tyler Seguin are polar opposites. While Seguin is controversial and polarizing, Loui is quiet and under the radar. I can’t talk enough about how wonderful Loui Eriksson is. He’s a two-way player who could’ve been a perennial Selke contender if not for Eastern bias. Loui never complained or had a bad word to say about anything or anyone. This quiet professionalism defined his time in Dallas and it will do the same in Boston. That’s just the type of guy he is. He’s pretty close to perfect.

I think this was a good trade for both sides. Boston got a scoring winger whose quiet personality will provide a welcome change on their team. Dallas got a young, franchise center who will grow and mature and be here for years to come.

This move reminds me of the most important trade in franchise history because of these reasons. But it was the other way around for the teams involved. In 1995, the Stars traded away the future for the present. The Jarome Iginla-Joe Nieuwendyk trade was one of the rare deals that doesn’t have a winner or a loser; in fact, both teams won because they got what they needed. It reminds me a lot of this trade, only now we’re Calgary trading away a veteran for a future superstar. I can only hope that this trade will end up exactly like that one did, all those years ago.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate the best of Loui:

Continue reading

Tyler Seguin is Se-GONE

cutiesIn what I think is a really great trade, my favorite douche, Tyler Seguin, is now a Dallas Star, along with Rich Peverley and prospect Ryan Button. What we had to give up for Segs is going to hurt for awhile, though–Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow, and Matt Fraser. Reilly was one of my favorite prospects, and Loui’s…Loui.

A lot of people are saying that the Stars won this trade, but for the sake of all involved, hopefully this ends up being one of those trades that’s a win-win when all’s said and done (a la Nieuwendyk for Iginla). Loui has the opportunity to contend while he’s in his prime, and the Stars get a potential franchise center.

I can’t stop smiling about this trade, because it’s gotten me really excited for the future. I feel like I say that every year, but Jim Nill’s moves have vastly improved the Stars. It’s pretty amazing how much he’s done in his short time with us so far. We’ve gone from a solid but mediocre team to a put-together group that might actually get a playoff spot.

And to anyone worried about Seguin’s character issues, Jim Nill had this to say:

Well, Mark [Recchi] knows him very well. He’s not an unknown. I watched Tyler when he was in Plymouth. I lived in Detroit there as you know and I’ve seen him grow up as a junior and turn into a great pro. We’re very fortunate he played with the Boston Bruins. They do things right. I know he’s had great coaching and great fundamentals and he’s built a great foundation there. So we’re very fortunate that way. We just look forward to him taking a leadership role down here in Dallas. He’s going to be growing up with the Jamie Benns and these guys. We’ve got a core group of players now that are all under the age of 25 and 26 and younger and I think it’s going to be great for him to kind of grow in with the rest of these players and help create a great environment down here for us.

It’s no secret that Seguin’s a douche, but he is, after all, only 21. They can’t all be Jonathan Toews at that age. I mean, look at Patrick Kane: same behavior as Seguin…is a two-time Stanley Cup champ AND current Conn Smythe winner. We have some really great character guys on the team and within the organization (Ray Whitney, Jim Nill, Lindy Ruff, Mike Modano, Mark Recchi, etc.) who can hopefully teach Segs a lesson and lead by example. Don’t try to tell me that Whitney won’t give Seguin a glare if he steps out of line, because Ray totally will. I’m not saying that Boston wasn’t a classy organization; I just think they mishandled aspects of Seguin’s upbringing (like calling him out).

With this move, Seguin finally gets to go back to his true position: center. He just wasn’t in the right place on the Bruins; with Krejci and Bergeron as the top two centers, Seguin was relegated to wing and I suspect his game suffered as a result. Now the Stars have a guy who has the potential to be a franchise center, assuming he gets his head in the right place. And you know what? I really believe he will. Segs will grow up and become the player we need him to be.

This trade also shows a lot about Jim Nill and the lengths he’s willing to go to, as well as the risks he’s going to take. Joe Nieuwendyk would never have made this trade and would have chosen to play it safe. That’s why he’s no longer GM of this team.

It’s Nill’s team now, and he’s making the most of it.

Class of ’13

Four days later, I’m still in disbelief that the Stars managed to draft Valeri Nichushkin at 10th overall. I really, really thought that the Devils were going to mess it all up for us:

lou lamoriello probably

 

And then that crazy Schneider trade went down, and it looked like it would be the Canucks who were going to ruin things for us. That’s just SO Vancouver, isn’t it?

But they didn’t. And somehow, one of the most talented players in the draft fell into our laps.  I still can’t believe it.

In Nichushkin, the Stars get an elite power forward who is NHL-ready. Forget the whole “I don’t want to play in the AHL thing,” too. It doesn’t make sense for Nichu (who played against grown men in the KHL, the second-best league in the world) to go to a minor league. That’s regression. The logical next step is the NHL, and a lot of scouts think he’s ready for that. I’m stupidly excited to see him play for the Stars.

Nichushkin

 

With Boston’s first-rounder (hey thanks, Toronto!) we picked up Jason Dickinson, a player with tremendous upside. This was a bit of a risky pick, but if it works out Jim Nill is going to look like a genius.

Another pick I’m fairly excited about is one of our fifth-rounders, Cole Ully:

Fifth rounders tend to work out for us, wouldn’t you say?

It was super exciting to see Jim Nill’s first draft and even better to see how lucky we got.

This is the start of something great.