Category Archives: Sergei Zubov

The Doldrums of Summer

Once you get past July 2, the off-season goes from boring to excruciatingly boring.  Yeah…I’m feelin’ it.  This is the time of the year when we get ridiculously over-excited whenever someone even hints at a trade rumor. 

Of course, you get your shockers like the Heatley-Havlat trade (it’s a good trade, but who’d a thunk?) and there’s the guessing game of Will Mike Modano (Finally) Retire?  Even so, there’s still some Stars news, as meager as it all may be.

  • Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott both signed one-year deals with the St. Louis Blues.  Normally, this would be a “meh” signing, but once you realize it isn’t, it gets a lot more interesting.  Doug Armstrong made these signings.  The same Doug Armstrong who instituted perhaps the worst trade in Stars history when he traded Langenbrunner for Arnott.  Oh the irony.
  • Apparently Sergei Zubov is the new coach of St. Petersberg, per @ReporterChris on twitter.  Good for him.

Now, darlings, I have some news.  I got a job, so I can’t ensure that I’ll have enough time to post things anymore.  Not that there’s really anything to post in the summer, but whatevs.

Since I can’t guarantee that I’ll be around here, you can find me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/SLStarsFan) or check out my Tumblr (http://bloominginbarbedwire.tumblr.com ) if you want to talk hockey.

Until then, see you later honeybees!

Highlight of the Weekend

More memorable than the win on Friday and that horrific loss last night was the tribute and ovation given to Jere Lehtinen during Friday’s game.

It was so touching, and I’ll admit that it got me choked up.  God, Lehtinen’s so classy.  He’s so humble that he probably only expected a few seconds of a tribute on the video board, not a two-to-three minute standing ovation.

It’s nice that we got to honor Jere like that.  With any luck, we can someday honor Sergei Zubov with his own standing O as he never did get a proper send-off.

No matter, some day in the not-so-distant future, we’ll get to honor all three of our franchise guys, Lehtinen, Zubov, and Mike Modano when we retire their numbers.

Thanks for everything, guys.

Boredom Buster Part II

I’m not done yet.  I still have a few more Mean Girls-Stars pictsures up my sleeve.

Here…we…go…

Ribs isn’t exactly popular, but people are jealous of him.

Too true.  But I still think I like him and his antics.

I don’t know why I chose that quote for this particular photo, but I think it’s Mike Green’s fault.

I love them both. 

I miss you, Zubie.

This is actually a Glee quote.

That’s not a Mean Girls quote, but since it’s Jack Campbell, I decided to include it.

Speaking of Jack, he’s on Twitter now @JCampbell921.  Follow him because he’s awesome.

The Poster Boys

For quite a few years, I’ve had a poster hanging in my room beside my bed.  This poster has three beloved guys on it: Mike Modano, Marty Turco, and Sergei Zubov.  I looked at this poster the other day, shortly after the news broke that we wouldn’t be resigning Modano, and felt a dagger go through my heart.  I realized that all of the guys on my poster were no longer Dallas Stars.  It’s really a sad time in Stars history.  The “poster boys” are all gone…

The Aftermath

They might want to call the Vancouver Games the “Upset Games.”  At least that ‘s what they are in terms of the hockey tournament going on.  Slovakia over Russia.  America over Canada.  Czech Republic over Sweden.  WHAT IS GOING ON?  This is crazy, just crazy.  

I’m upset right now because of some of these upsets.  I wanted the gold medal final to be between a combination of Russia, Finland, Sweden, and America.  Now two huge hockey powerhouses- Russia and Sweden- are out.  How the heck does that happen?  Thirty years after the biggest upset ever (that’s the Miracle on Ice, if you didn’t feel like figuring it out), there are upsets aplenty at these Olympics.

Now, I have some words to say to some certain individuals, some good others bad:

To the Russian GM…

Dear Vladislav Tretiak, 

How does Sergei Zubov sound now that Russia’s out of the tournament?  You could have really used a defenseman like him to calm your team down and actually make them look put together.  Russia looked frantic and like they had no plan whatsoever.   It didn’t help that your coach, Vyacheslav “Slava” Bykov, didn’t look like an adequate coach.  And Mr. Tretiak, I just wanted to say that I was right.

To Alex Ovechkin…

Dear Ovie, 

Once again your team didn’t show up when it mattered most.  I’m sorry for that.  You’re awesome, you’re perfect, don’t change a thing.  Just keep being yourself and someday you will be rewarded.  Ovie, you’re one of my favorite players in the NHL.  To me, you are the epitome of my ideal hockey player- exciting, skilled, and has a personality.

When some call you a jerk, I call you a bad-ass.  When they call you dirty, I call you forcefully passionate.  When they call you non-traditional and cocky, I call you a rebel.  More than anything, Alex, just keep doing what you’re doing.

To Team USA…

Dear Americans,

What.  A.  Game.  Way to relive the Miracle on Ice and stage a miracle of your own.  I’ll admit that I was uncertain how such a young team could possible medal.  Thankfully, I was wrong.  I cheered the way I only cheer during the Olympics, if that makes sense.  When Ryan Kesler scored that empty-netter, he was no longer a dirty Canuck.  I didn’t care that Bobby Ryan was a Suck and a Mike Modano-wannabe.  I didn’t care that Brooks Orpik was a teammate of Sidney Crosby.  They were all Americans.  And that is what the Olympics does to a person.

To Sidney Crosby…

Dear Sid,

I don’t like you even more if that’s even possible.

To Brenden Morrow…

Dear Brenden,

I am not about to compliment you on your superb play for Canada.  Rather, I’m about to chew you out for it.  

Brenden, why is it that you look like you care more about Team Canada than the Dallas Stars?  Why is it that all year long you’ve wanted to make Canada’s Olympic team than you wanted the Stars to make the playoffs?  Why can’t you play for the Stars the way  you play for Canada?  Do we not give you good enough linemates on the Stars?  It’s funny, because Jamie Benn, Steve Ott, and Mike Ribeiro aren’t exactly Mike Richards and Jonathan Toews, but they still get the job done.

We want Brenden Morrow, circa 2006-2008.  Where’d he go?  Do we need to find him for you?  Where did our heart and soul of the team Morrow go?

Brenden, make itlook like you care, even if you don’t.  Please do that much for me…

In Other News:

Alex Auld has been waived.  Looks like we’re keeping Turco, huh? Of course you never know with GM Joe…

Finally, I just wanted to share this amazing gif that some wonderful perosn over at the Caps’ blog, Japer’s Rink, made.

No offense to Jaromir Jagr, but he was Ovechkin’d.

From Russia, Without Love

Today the roster for the Russian Olympic team  was released.  I scanned the list, and saw the usual suspects: Ovechkin.  Malkin.  Datsyuk.  Kovalchuk.  Markov.

But no Zubov. 

I checked again, but still no Zubov.  Why?

Does the Russian GM not recognize talent when he sees it?  Is he blind?  How could he leave the highest-scoring Russian defenseman ever off the team?

It broke my heart.  Zubie is so highly underappreciated, and I hate it.

I’ll still find it in my heart to root for Russia, since I love Ovechkin and Datsyuk, but not as much as if Zubie’d made the team.

Maybe come Olympic time, the Russians will regret their poor decision not to include the great Sergei Zubov…

Preseason Musings

With every preseason game, we come a little bit closer to the real season.  Here are some things that I’ve noticed and heard during the preseason:

-This just might be the season that we see Brad Richards’ true colors.  He had an injury-riddled season last year, and we learned that he had off-season shoulder surgery.  Really, B-Rad’s all ready to go for this season.  And he’s been showing it by being the Stars’ best player during this preaseason.

Will we finally see the real B-Rad?

Will we finally see the real B-Rad?

-Jamie Benn is impressing me.  A lot.  Much more than Fabian Brunnstrom.  I don’t know if Bunny’s just having a rough time or what, but he’s in danger of losing his roster spot.  As much as I’d prefer to get Benn seasoned in the AHL, I can’t help but think that he could do some real damage here.

-Something’s off with Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow.  Those two haven’t been producing the way we know they can.  Possibly the absence of Jere Lehtinen?  I certainly hope that’s the case…

Dallas' Dynamic Duo

Dallas' Dynamic Duo

-From what I’ve heard, it sounds like the goalies have been solid.  No “bad” goals have been let in.  No one’s pulled a Marty Turco as far as I know…

-They’re still adjusting to Marc Crawford’s system.  I’ve heard it in quotes and from Mike Heika.  Hopefully they’ll have it down by October 3.

-Florida is the new Detroit.  You know how it is with certain teams.  They just always have our number and somehow step up their play whenever the Stars are the opponent.  Florida seems to be like that.

-For other teams, it sounds like Chicago is struggling.  They recently lost Adam Burish and lost a game to Washington AHL-ers.  That brings me to the Caps.  They’re for real this season.   They’re playing really, really well.  As much as I want the Stars to win the Stanley Cup, the Caps winning would be the second best thing.

-Ralph Strangis had a really nice send-off for Sergei Zubov here.

-And Dave Tippett is the new coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.  I’m thrilled that he got a job, since I think he was unfairly fired by Joe Nieuwendyk, but I hate that it’s in the same division.  That might make it tough.

Game against Colorado tonight.  If I was there, I’d tell them, “Don’t effing blow this.”  But, they probably will.   For some ungodly reason, they just can’t beat sucky teams. 😦

Worries and Concerns

Yesterday, I boldly stated that the Stars would win the Stanley Cup.  The likelihood that that will actually happen is very small, but if everything goes right, I think they really could.  

But, I have a few concerns with the Stars that might make them miss the playoffs yet again.  I’m not trying to depress anyone, but I’m serious;y worried about certain things.

1. Obviously the new GM and coach.  What if the Marc Crawford experiment ends up like the Sean Avery experiment?  I don’t think that that will happen, but it’s hard to forget the Bertuzzi incident. I’ll admit that when they announced Joe Nieuwendyk as GM, I got a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.  When Crawford became coach, that all went away.  It really concerns me.

2. The veterans are another year older.  Jere Lehtinen’s already injured, and Mike Modano is almost 40.  They’re solid players, yes, but the time will eventually come when we have to let them go.  That could very well be the end of this season.

3. Marty Turco.  What if last year was just a preview of this year’s Turco?  What if Marty has really lost it?  If we see last year’s imposter, the Stars are toast.  

4. We lost Sergei Zubov.  I always thought that Zubie was kind of the glue that held the team together.  When he played, the whole team looked better.  Now, he’s gone.  We lost a leader and the point on the power-play.

5. No true number-one defenseman.  As much as I love Stephane Robidas, he’s hardly a number one d-man.  We don’t have the guy who earns the big bucks.  The highest-paid defenseman is Trevor Daley, and he’s only paid $2.3 million.  This might come back to haunt them, or they’ll pull a Carolina and have successful no-names.

6. The teams around us are getting better.  San Jose acquired Dany Heatley.  Anaheim has added instrumental pieces.  LA’s kids are getting better.  Dallas is virtually the same team they were two years ago.  Will tougher opponents spell D-O-O-M for the Stars?

I’m not gonna lie, but I’ve lost some sleep thinking about all of this.  Hopefully none of the above are true, but I just had to get that out there.  The real test will be to get off to a faster start than last year.  The slow start was what really cost them.  I look forward to this year, and history shows that this should be a great year. 

Go Stars!!

“One Mo Time”

I was searching around today, and I found an excellent article in last week’s Sports Illustrated.  It’s basically saying that Mike Modano is still a force who can lead Team USA in next year’s Olympics.

Read it here.

I know that Mo still has it in him, and if he makes Team USA, I’ll definitely be rooting for the Americans.  I’m not trying to be  a bad American, but it’ll be a miracle if they even medal.  My toughest choice will be whether to root for Brenden Morrow and the Canadians or Sergei Zubov and the Russians.  I’ll probably choose Russia simply because Alex Ovechkin rocks.  And I don’t really like Sidney Crosby.

Whatever, though.

Sergei Zubov, Dallas Star 1996-2009

Here is my tribute to one of the greatest, most underrated defensemen to ever play the game, and arguably the best d-man the Dallas Stars have ever had.

It all started on June 22, 1996 when the Stars stole acquired Sergei Zubov from the Penguins for Kevin Hatcher.  Who’d have thought that this would be one of the best, if not the best, trades in franchise history.

Zubie made this team what it was.  For the past thirteen years, he’s been our number one defenseman.  A leader.  A huge part of the franchise. 

I don’t know what I’ll miss most about Zubov.  His silky smooth moves?  Him rocking the point on the power-play?  Those scary-cool no-look passes?  His calmness?  His mentoring skills?

I’m just gonna plain miss the guy and everything about him.

I always took pride in knowing that Zubov was the most underrated player in the league, his only recognition being a Norris nomination in 05-06.  Maybe I’m just being a homer here, but Zubie deserved more than simply one Norris nomination.  He should have received at least one trophy, if not five of Nick Lidstrom’s.  Zubie wasn’t just any underrated talent, he was our underrated talent. 🙂

Zubie was always a quiet, humble guy.  He never said much, but he let his play do the talking.  Zubov never sold himself, either, even though with that talent could have. He drew the respect from players around the league because they at least knew he was something special.

I’ve always loved how he looks so happy when he’s on the ice.  Seeing the way he glowed was just priceless.  It’s times like that that you realize how much he loves playing hockey.  It’s painful to know that I’ll never see that again.

To me, the worst part about this whole thing is the fact that Zubov never got a proper final game.  It was just a random game in the season and nobody knew it was his last.  He never got a standing ovation or a final circle around the ice in Dallas.  Someday, we will honor him properly.  We just have to.

It’s been known for awhile that we probably wouldn’t get him back, but that still didn’t numb the shock or the pain when I saw that he was leaving us for good.  It kills me to know that he will never play another game for the Stars.  Ever.

As sad as it is that he’s departing for the KHL, I would have been devastated to see him sign for anyone else in the NHL. 

With Zubie going to Russia, it’s sort of  touching to know that he ended his NHL career with the Stars.  Zubov is a Dallas Star through and through.  I’d like to tell him,  “Thank you,” for that, because in a way, he repaid the franchise for everything.

I cannot wait for the day when 56 is raised to the rafters of the American Airlines Center.

Thanks for everything, Zubie.  I wish you nothing but the best.  56 to the rafters!

Sergei Zubov, Dallas Star Forever

Sergei Zubov, Dallas Star Forever