Towering Dallas prospect Oleksiak set to make NHL debut Friday


Sounds like Jamie Oleksiak will make his Dallas Stars and NHL debut on Friday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Oleksiak, 21, was Dallas’ first-round pick (14th overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and recently participated in his first-ever AHL All-Star Game.

Following Wednesday’s call-up, he was put on a defensive pairing with Alex Goligoski at practice and should be in the lineup tomorrow, according to Stars Inside Edge.

It’s a big move that should have Stars fans excited — “big” being the operative word.

Oleksiak is listed at 6-foot-7, 242 pounds and has a massive reach, something that benefited him well during his time in the American league.

Here’s more, from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News:

Nicknamed “The Big Rig,” he jumped up from junior hockey last season to become an AHL All-Star Game participant this year. He has played 43 games for the Texas Stars and has 23 points, including three goals.

Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said he expected the towering defenseman to make his NHL debut Friday against Phoenix, then join the team on a three-game trip through Phoenix, Colorado and Edmonton.

“We’ll see what he can do, and then we’ll assess from there,” Nieuwendyk said.

Oleksiak is also known for his hitting ability and fighting skill, the latter of which turned him into something of a minor YouTube legend:

In other Dallas lineup news, Derek Roy won’t play Friday against Phoenix, though head coach Glen Gulutzan is hopeful he can return in time for Monday’s game against Colorado.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.