Welcome to this week’s edition of the Texas Stars mailbag.
If you have questions about the team, a certain player, or anything else that comes to mind send them my way. I’ll be fielding questions via Twitter, the Wrong Side of the Red Line Facebook page, and via email at email@example.com.
Let’s see what we’ve got for this week:
@seanshapiro same question from 2 weeks ago about bad goaltending giving Laxdal a get out of jail free card
— Jason (@dfwhockeyfan) February 11, 2015
I don’t think Derek Laxdal needs a get out of jail free card.
From the fans, who watched the Texas Stars win a Calder Cup last season, that may not be the be the case. But from an organizational standpoint, the Dallas Stars are happy with the job Laxdal has done in Texas.
It’s important to remember this isn’t the team that won the Calder Cup last year, look at the lineup — players like Mike Hedden, Chris Mueller, Dustin Jeffery, and Christopher Nilstorp are playing elsewhere. Meanwhile players that were full-time AHL players last year — Brett Ritchie, Curtis McKenzie, Jyrki Jokipakka, and Jamie Oleksiak — are being bounced back-and-forth from the NHL, and they’ve played considerably well for Dallas.
Add in a multitude of injuries and it’s been a stacked deck against Laxdal this season, but the team is still within a point of a playoff spot.
It also takes a little while for a team and a new coach to mesh, and that’s happening now. If you look at the recent success Texas has responded to Laxdal’s more emotional approach on the bench and it’ll be interesting to see if that continues on the upcoming road trip.
How Campbell plays in Idaho won’t have much of an impact on his playing time in Texas. How he responds when he returns to Texas and gets into AHL games will determine whether he can push Jussi Rynnas for the starting job.
At best, I could see Campbell splitting starts with Rynnas late in the regular season. But if Texas makes the playoffs I would imagine Rynnas would be the full-time starter.
Yes, I think Brendan Ranford will get an NHL shot, possibly next season. Ranford could be the NHL-AHL swing player if Curtis McKenzie and Brett Ritchie are full-time NHLers, and then build on that for a full-time role in the future.
Rich Peverley did skate with the Texas Stars as a volunteer assistant coach at practice Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean he’s joining the coaching staff or if that’s part of his future plans.
Texas traveled to Iowa today and Peverley was headed back to Dallas. He’s been bouncing back-and-forth on I-35 this season based on which team (Dallas or Texas) is in town. So it was great that he skated with Texas, but it doesn’t mean too much right now.
It’s not too uncommon of an occurrence in Cedar Park to see an additional “volunteer coach” skating with the team. Coaches of junior teams have helped at practice before and at one point last season Willie Desjardins had a couple coaches from the Japan Ice Hockey Federation in town who were watching and skated one day with the team.
Yes, he’s done for the season.
Faksa was hanging around the Cedar Park Center this week and was watching practice Tuesday. He’s not traveling with the team and he’s bouncing back-and-forth between Cedar Park and Dallas.