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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s see what we’ve got for this week:
Oh, the saga of Scott Glennie.
Before we look at the future, let’s take a quick look at the past.
Glennie was drafted eighth overall in 2009 by then Dallas general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. He was considered a quick-skating prospect who had a knack for putting the puck in the net.
Five years later, Glennie has played just one NHL game — the last game of the 2011-12 season after Dallas was eliminated from the playoffs. And hasn’t been able to consistently stay on the ice in Cedar Park.
In his rookie season, 2011-12, he appeared in 70 games and had a respectable 37 points. Then injuries struck the next two seasons — he played just 37 and 50 games — before appearing in 58 of Texas’ 65 games this season.
More recently, Glennie’s been playing like he’s in contract year.
He has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past eight games, while he’s been a better defensive player in the second half of the season.
However, has that earned him another contract with the Dallas Stars?
While Glennie’s production may have improved recently, it may be time for him and the organization to part ways at the end of the season — to the benefit of both.
Glennie isn’t part of Jim Nill’s future plans, and it has nothing to do with which GM drafted him. Had Glennie been part of Dallas’ future, he would have been considered for a call-up this season before the likes of Brendan Ranford.
Glennie has become a consistent AHL player. But if his end goal is the NHL — which it is — the road doesn’t go through Cedar Park.
Texas Stars goalie coach Andy Moog once said, “You can’t really judge a goalie until he’s played 100 career games.”
Campbell recently hit that threshold earlier this month, and if you’re looking at recent success, he’s starting to become the goalie Dallas hoped he would be.
In the month of March the former first-round pick has 5-1 record, .940 save percentage, and a 2.24 goals against average.
He’s not only making the quantity of saves, he’s also making quality stops — something he struggled to do earlier in the year.
Am I over reacting to a particular hot streak? Maybe.
But, as Campbell continues to carry the load — he’ll start both games this weekend with Jussi Rynnas’ lower-body injury — he continues to prove his potential and at 23-years-old, he’s still working toward the prime of his career.
Would I make him the NHL backup tomorrow? No.
Would I plan on Campbell playing for Dallas in two or three years? Yes.
Esa Lindell will actually play his final game with the Texas Stars on Friday before flying back to Finland for World Championship Training Camp. It was a quick, but successful stay for the Finnish defenseman.
Lindell didn’t look out of place, and he used his large frame to his advantage.
In my opinion, Ludwig Bystrom has had a slightly slower progression to North America. He’s a bit smaller — he’s admitted he needs to bulk up this summer — and doesn’t have the same physical tools as Lindell.
With both of them in the lineup Texas has been dressing seven defensemen the past three weeks. It’s a move that creates flexibility — Scott Valentine and Matt Mangene can play forward as well — while it shields Bystrom from bigger moments.
As Texas rolls toward the playoffs that will change and Bystrom will have to prove he’s ready for crucial situations — penalty kill, power play, etc. — or he’ll become a black ace for the postseason.
Yes, it’s actually a pairing I would have liked to watch in the Calder Cup Playoffs if Lindell wasn’t headed to the World Championships.
Both Lindell and Honka move the puck well and they communicate well — in Finnish, naturally.
The key to their development as a future pairing is understanding. Understanding the North American game, understanding when and when not to push the offensive play, and understanding different responsibilities for different situations.
That all comes with experience, and it could be fun to watch next season.
We spoke at length already about Lindell and Bystrom, so let’s just focus on Shore.
I’ve been impressed with Shore, so has Stars’ coach Derek Laxdal.
Shore understands his defensive responsibilities, wins face-offs, and he’s started putting the puck in the net. Those things were expected, but he wasn’t expected to make such a smooth transition this quickly.
He’s going to be in the Stars lineup for the rest of the season and he could follow Curtis McKenzie’s path from two years ago — finish collegiate season, play well in AHL on ATO, then build that into a strong rookie season.
It only makes sense, right?
If the Texas Stars have “Stars” in their name they should consider a Stars Wars night. Plus, you could do some really creative things with the jerseys and logos.
I don’t know too much history about Rockford’s autism awareness night. However, if the right organization came forward and asked to partner for a game — like Texas does for Pink in the Rink — I think it would be a possibility.