Stars host Finnish goaltender Jussi Rynnas

Last summer, the Stars held out hope that Swedish free agent Jonas
Gustavsson would choose to come to Dallas and be Marty Turco’s backup.
With Turco in the last year of his contract, it was entirely likely that
Gustavsson would have the chance to earn the starter’s sport for the
2010-11 season. He would ultimately choose Toronto, leaving the Stars out in the cold.

Now, the Dallas Stars are beginning a
walk down the same road, although I’m willing to bet they’ll tread a bit
more carefully this time around. Finnish goaltending free agent Jussi
Rynnas was in town on Thursday night, as he visited with team officials,
the coaches and Finnish legend Jere Lehtinen.
From Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News:

“It
was really a typical recruiting visit,” said Les Jackson,
the Stars director of scouting and player development. “We wanted to
let him know what we had to offer, and just show him how we operate.”

The
situation is a bit different with Rynnas than it was with Gustavsson,
as there is no pressure to promise him significant NHL minutes right
away; he’s reportedly open to spending some time in the AHL adjusting to
North American hockey.

The Stars were burned by Gustavsson’s
indecision last year (or, their stubbornness to believe he would
actually choose Dallas), and with Kari Lehtonen staking his claim on the
starter’s position for next season, there isn’t as much pressure on the
Stars to get Rynnas.

Yet the backup position is still up in the
air, and having two 6-5, mobile Finnish goaltenders on the roster would
make an G.M. drool.

Scroll Down For:

    Report: Yes, Claude Julien’s job is in some danger with Bruins

    MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 12:  Head coach of the Boston Bruins Claude Julien looks on as he walks across the ice during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on December 12, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Boston Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
    Getty
    Leave a comment

    After the Boston Bruins squandered a 3-0 lead against the Detroit Red Wings and ultimately lost 6-5 via a shootout, plenty of fans and commenters had enough. Many called for Claude Julien’s head.

    They might not be alone.

    During the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading on Thursday, Bob McKenzie didn’t say that Julien was definitely going to be fired, but he said there’s a “credible threat” to the long-standing Bruins bench boss’ job security.

    The phrase “impending doom” came up, too.

    So … yeah, it sure sounds like Julien is on thin ice.

    McKenzie indicates that Julien should be behind the bench on Friday and could improve his situation if he reels off some wins. That’s where things get extra interesting.

    The Bruins play three of their next four games and seven of their next nine contests at home. Most of those games are against playoff-caliber teams, however, so it wouldn’t necessarily be “easy.” Still, the opportunities are there for the Bruins to solidify their spot in the East playoff picture.

    Still, it sure sounds like the margin of error is pretty small for Julien, just as it might be for Boston in this playoff race.

    Want more coaching hot seat talk from McKenzie? He also discussed Paul Maurice’s situation with the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday:

    Video: There was no stopping John Tavares on this goal

    Leave a comment

    New York Islanders fans probably needed a moment like this, even ones who are more than happy that Jack Capuano was let go.

    It’s no surprise that John Tavares provided such a moment.

    Watch in the video above as he makes an obscene move against Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg, and then finishes with some really nifty timing. Wow.

    Tavares now has 17 goals this season, reinforcing the thought that the team’s struggles aren’t on him.

    Now catch up on all of the drama surrounding the team:

    Bob McKenzie updates on the fuzzy future for the Isles

    Liam McHugh grills Garth Snow on a variety of burning questions

    Coyotes demote Duclair to AHL so he can ‘regain his scoring touch’

    NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 25: Anthony Duclair #10 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 25, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Getty
    Leave a comment

    It’s been a tough season for both Anthony Duclair and the Arizona Coyotes. Even so, it’s still startling to see that he was demoted to the AHL on Thursday.

    GM John Chayka explained the team’s logic for the demotion:

    “Anthony is a good young player,” said Chayka. “Unfortunately, he has struggled this season. We felt this was a good time to send him to Tucson to work on a few things and hopefully regain his scoring touch. We hope to have him rejoin our team soon.”

    Duclair’s been the subject of more than a few trade rumors, but this is probably the low point of a rough 2016-17 season for the 21-year-old.

    It’s worth taking a second to consider the very different luck Duclair’s experienced in his breakout season last year vs. this one.

    His shooting percentage was 19 in 2015-16, helping him score 20 goals on just 105 shots. By comparison, he’s only converted on 5.2 percent of his shots this year, nabbing three on 58.

    In other words, Duclair’s work is probably somewhere between those extremes … but he’s also at that age where a player can make big leaps forward. So, it’s understandable that the Coyotes want to try to repair their prospect’s confidence, and it’s also reasonable that other teams might believe that they can get more out of him.

    A trip to the AHL really might be good for his confidence but … still, wow.

    The good news and the bad news for Roman Josi

    Leave a comment

    Roman Josi told Swiss Hockey News.ch that he suffered a concussion from that Anton Blidh hit you can see in the video above, according to a translation passed along by the Tennessean.

    So, that’s the bad news for the Nashville Predators. The good is that he also told that outlet that he might be able to return for the Preds sometime next week.

    Josi, 26, has dealt with concussion issues before, making this report a concern for the long-term. Still, the possibility of a return so soon is definitely a positive.

    Here’s what the next week and change looks like for Nashville:

    Tonight: at Flames
    Friday: at Oilers
    Sunday: at Wild
    Tuesday, Jan. 24: vs. Sabres
    Thursday: vs. Blue Jackets

    The Predators aren’t out of the West picture altogether, but they need to make the most of their opportunities. Much like the Bolts with Victor Hedman, Nashville’s hanging in there OK without one of their key guys, but every point counts. Getting Josi back would be huge.