Stargazing: A Dallas Stars Puckcast | Defending Big D
Traverse City Scouting Report

Traverse City Scouting Report

September 23, 2022

The Dallas Stars marked the unofficial start of the new hockey season with the 2022 Traverse City NHL Prospect Tournament. What does the future hold for fans of the Victory Green Gang?

Mark Zimmerman and Derek Neumeier were there, and lucky for us, they’re ready to share. They’ve examined the sure things, the sleepers, and the dark horses, and they talk about what they saw in this episode:

  • What did we learn about the Stars’ depth from the Traverse City tournament?
  • How did Neil Graham’s strategy take advantage of it?
  • Who has the right skills to flourish under Pete DeBoer’s prospective system?
  • Was the Nils Lundkvist trade a steal, or a felony?
  • How will it affect the team’s structure over the next few years?
  • Who’s realistically competing for a roster spot during this training camp?
  • Who will grab a spot on the Texas Stars?
  • Are waiver exemptions going to make most of these decisions for the front office?
  • And which solid prospects could end up eating nachos, even in Cedar Park?

Will we finally see Ty Dellandrea get a full season in the NHL? Stargazing is willing to go there, and now you can go there with us. Stay tuned to learn more about Derek’s new job!

What are you most looking forward to as training camp commences? Let us know in the comments, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. There’s a very good chance you’ll be part of the next podcast.

And it helps everyone (well, us, mostly) when you rate, review and share. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

Doomcasting

Doomcasting

September 9, 2022

Sometimes, being a Dallas Stars fan means rolling with the punches. So why not get a little sparring practice in before the season starts?

Welcome to the Doomcast! Wes, Mark and Tyler leaned waaaay into the worst cases for our latest upload (with only one area ruled off-limits), and even reached as far as bankruptcy just to get the edgelord points. In this edition:

  • What if the Stars can’t find a way to replace John Klingberg?
  • What if Jake Oettinger stumbles out of the gate?
  • Has Dallas’ old defense-from-defense system ruined the offense of its young stars?
  • What if the hot prospects just aren’t as hot as we think they are?
  • What will happen to The Turtle? Could a few key injuries force the Stars back into that shell?
  • And what if Miro Heiskanen can’t play every single ding-dang position? (...Oh, wait.)

The way out is through. Stargazing can help.

Any questions left about the offseason? We can answer, even if we’re wrong. Leave your queries here, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next podcast.

And it helps everyone (well, us, mostly) when you rate, review and share. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

Accentuate The Positive

Accentuate The Positive

August 26, 2022

Are the Dallas Stars poised for greatness or on the precipice of disaster? Because the Victory Green Gang is Schrödinger’s Team, the correct answer is always “Both, and at the same time.”

But this week, Wes, Mark and Tyler are focusing on happy thoughts and good things. Mostly. In this episode:

  • On a scale of Shea Weber to Dustin Penner, how likely is it that the still-unsigned Jake Oettinger gets an offer sheet?
  • On a scale of Andrei Vasilevskiy to Jordan Binnington, where does our potential cornerstone (and current adorable sea creature) really tip the scale?
  • What would it take for the Stars to even contemplate allowing Jason Robertson to leave the fold?
  • What would it take for Robertson to even consider signing an offer sheet?
  • Does a team even exist who can offer it?
  • To expand on that thought, has the NHL’s flat cap destroyed the offseason?
  • And will schadenfreude help?

We wouldn’t be surprised if this continues all the way into training camp. Welcome to Stargazing.

You have questions. We have answers, sort of. Leave your queries at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next podcast.

And we love it when you rate, review and share, especially during the offseason. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

Free Agency Free-For-All 2022

Free Agency Free-For-All 2022

July 20, 2022

How do you rate the Dallas Stars’ offseason so far? Has the front office made the team better, or is there still too much hanging fire to provide the spark they need?

Welcome to Stargazing, where the only offer-sheet discussion is the “don’t make me laugh” kind. In this edition, Wes and Mark kick around questions like these:

  • What can we hope for from Colin Miller?
  • What’s the next step for Miro Heiskanen?
  • Will Thomas Harley get the shot at top-four action that was the putative reason the Stars drafted him in the first place?
  • Can Esa Lindell rediscover his offensive game under new bench boss Pete DeBoer?
  • What kind of gamble is the Mason Marchment signing?
  • Will the entire league follow Tampa Bay into a stars-and-scrubs roster structure?
  • And is there still a daring deal the Stars can strike to keep John Klingberg?

Somebody has to decide to make it happen, and Stargazing is on the case. Get your summer Stars fix here.

Send us your questions! No, really! Leave one at Defending Big D, or contact us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next podcast.

And we love it when you rate, review and share, especially during the offseason. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

Stats Heavies

Stats Heavies

July 1, 2022

New coach, new lineup, new prospects...the Dallas Stars are, in many ways, a team at the crossroads. What kind of deals will they have to make to stay relevant and still keep their fanbase happy?

Mike Piellucci and David Castillo, who are helping D Magazine put down stakes as a Dallas sportswriting destination, joined Wes and Mark earlier this week. For well over an hour, they talked about writing to bring fans in without dumbing things down, and how some of those lessons can apply to the Stars as well. In this episode:

  • How do you get casual fans excited about a sport as data-driven as hockey?
  • What terrifies the Stars’ leadership group more than being terrible?
  • How does their business plan hold up when they’re also competing not to be the “fourth team” in a sports-mad market?
  • Why haven’t they made their most exciting players a bigger part of their product, both on the ice and off? (Because let’s face it, the Roope Hintz-Mike Modano comparisons practically make themselves.)
  • What can the Toronto Maple Leafs teach us about what is and isn’t possible?
  • What does the Tanking Era demonstrate about what the Stars are trying to do?
  • And how did “consistently inconsistent” become this team’s brand from top to bottom?

All this, plus a long look at the new bench boss, are yours in this week’s Stargazing. (The salty language is a gift with purchase.)

It may be the offseason, but we still live for your comments and questions. Leave one at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next podcast.

And remember, please rate, review and share. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

Future Considerations

Future Considerations

June 24, 2022

What have the last few seasons of Dallas Stars hockey taught us? That speedy puck movers are the wave of the future (provided your team hasn’t decided to play throwback puck)? That right-handed defenders must be protected at all costs (until they aren’t)? That there’s never really a logjam in goal?...

Derek Neumeier, head Western scout with FC Hockey and longtime Friend o’ DBD, joined Wes and Mark to talk about it. In this jam-packed episode:

  • Wyatt Johnston’s incredible OHL season – and why he could earn an NHL roster spot out of training camp,
  • Riley Tufte’s possible role on the roster,
  • Ty Dellandrea’s progress and potential,
  • Logan Stankoven, future fan favorite,
  • Antonio Stranges, and what we can learn about prospect development by following him closely,
  • Artem Grushnikov, and what makes him a modern-day shutdown defenseman,
  • the incredible shrinking blueline prospect pool,
  • the question marks about depth in goal,
  • the impact of the flat cap on the future lineup,
  • the Stars’ draft capital, and how they can use it,
  • and how all of this affects the Texas Stars.

...What, with a Top Gun movie in theaters right now, you think we wouldn’t talk about a kid named Mavrik? But wait, there’s more – because this is Stargazing.

Send us all your comments and questions! Leave one at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next podcast.

And please, please rate, review and share. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

The Bench Press

The Bench Press

June 17, 2022

It’s mid-June already, and it may be safe to say that the Dallas Stars’ search for a new head coach is going to be longer and more comprehensive than rumor would lead us to believe. But what can we expect from the successful candidate...and how might the Stars’ definition of “successful candidate” differ from what you expect?

Can the Stars find a bench boss who can integrate their veteran talent with the emerging potential of a new, young core? Or will Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz suffer the same fate as prime Jamie Benn? Taylor and Mark discuss all this and more:

  • What’s going on with the coaching hire?
  • How much of that decision is up to Jim Nill?
  • How much of what we’re hearing is probably being leaked by agents?
  • Will the new guy fit with both the Stars’ existing roster and their hottest up-and-comers?
  • Can they finally sync up with the future direction of the league while they’re at it?
  • What will the new regime mean for how the Stars approach the 2022 NHL Draft?
  • And how do they compete with all the other teams who are looking for fresh blood behind the bench?

All this, plus the best reason for Jason Robertson to sign a bridge deal this offseason, await you in Stargazing. Buckle up...the summer is about to get more exciting.

We love your comments and questions. All of them. Leave one at Defending Big D, or DM us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next podcast!

And for the love of hockey, please rate, review and share. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

Rebuild Or Reload?

Rebuild Or Reload?

May 23, 2022

The Dallas Stars went home way too early from the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, and now they’re cleaning house. With most of the coaching staff now clearing out their lockers, what’s next for the Victory Green Gang?

Wes, Taylor and Mark read the litmus test of the Rick Bowness era, as well as the tea leaves for the next bench crew. In this episode:

  • How surprised should we be?
  • Where will the Stars look for the next sheriff in town?
  • What are the odds that a European coach gets a shot at rebooting the Stars’ young roster?
  • Or is an NHL long-timer like Barry Trotz a better choice for getting the veterans going?
  • Will Texas Stars up-and-comer Neil Graham make the cut?
  • And what will any new head coach have to do once they get here?

All this, plus the eternal debate over how the NHL develops new talent, are yours in the new Stargazing – where it’s always a good time to be a Stars fan.

Your comments and questions keep us alive. Leave one here or find us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next podcast.

And for the love of hockey, please rate, review and share. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

Got A Match?

Got A Match?

May 11, 2022

For the first time in Round 1, the Dallas Stars had to play a game in Calgary Flames style rather than their own. The results were...well, you saw.

Wes and Mark discuss why the Stars aren’t playing well enough to win right now, and what they may need to do to right the ship. In this episode:

  • Did the Stars think they could win Game 4 by playing Games 1 through 3?
  • Can they make adjustments without letting the next game get away from them?
  • Will the Flames keep letting Miro Heiskanen skate the puck because the stagnant Stars offense leaves him with nothing else to do with it?
  • Is there any way this iteration of the Stars can win a high-event hockey game?
  • For that matter, can they win another game by asking Jake Oettinger to steal it?
  • Do the Stars have even one structural advantage in this matchup – and if so, what is it?
  • Or is their miserable power play going to cost them the series after all?

How do you galaxy-brain yourself into a corner? Tell us about it. This is why we’re all Stargazing.

Your comments and questions keep us alive. Leave one here or find us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next podcast.

And please rate, review and share. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

Yard Sale Or Track Meet?

Yard Sale Or Track Meet?

May 9, 2022

The Dallas Stars’ postseason to date isn’t made up of especially pretty strokes, but it’s pretty much impossible not to like the whole picture so far.

Wes, Taylor and Rob sat down to discuss what the Victory Green Gang has done right during the past two victories over the Calgary Flames. In this episode:

  • Are the Stars actually, really built for the Stanley Cup playoffs?
  • How have they managed to keep the Flames from converting their superior possession metrics into useful offense?
  • When will Roope Hintz be able to buy a goal again?
  • Is Jake Oettinger a Vezina-caliber netminder as well as an adorable sea creature?
  • Is Calgary playing into Dallas’ hands if they try to get edgier and more physical?
  • And will the series ultimately be decided not by depth scoring, but by the top line that gets going consistently?

Is it all depth scoring if nobody scores? Stargazing is asking the most important questions of our time. And then destroying them. With answers!

We love your comments and questions! Leave one at Defending Big D, or find us @WesALawrence or @KETibbetts. You could be part of the next playoffs podcast.

And, as always, please rate, review and share. Tell us why you listen wherever you subscribe.

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