Tag: Dallas Stars

Devan Dubnyk

Poll: Are there any worthy Hart Trophy snubs?


Whenever you’re talking about an award that seeks to recognize the best player in the league, any decision is going to be contested. The same can be true for the list of finalists. Now that we know that Montreal’s Carey Price, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and the Islanders’ John Tavares are this year’s Hart Trophy finalists, was there anyone that deserved to be on that list that was excluded?

Below are three potential alternatives. Each of them had great seasons, but there are also understandable reasons why they didn’t make the cut. Do you agree with those reasons though?

1) Devan Dubnyk – Perhaps the most obvious snub. When the Wild acquired Dubnyk on Jan. 14, they were a struggling franchise that seemed doomed to fall short of the playoffs. Then Dubnyk posted an incredible 1.78 GAA and .936 save percentage in 39 contests to make Minnesota one of the best teams in the second half. He was likely excluded in part because he wasn’t with Minnesota for the full 2014-15 campaign and partially due to the presence of Price on the list. Goaltenders tend to be a tough sell for the Hart Trophy and having them take up two of the three slots might have been asking for too much.

2) Jamie Benn – This year’s Art Ross Trophy winner (35 goals, 87 points in 82 contests) didn’t end up warranting a spot among the Hart Trophy finalists. It’s easy to see why though: The Dallas Stars weren’t a playoff squad and MVP awards take the success of the team into consideration. Still, he had one of the best seasons out of this year’s crop of forwards.

3) Sidney Crosby – Crosby is the latest Hart Trophy winner, but he wasn’t able to defending his spot as the MVP. He took a noticeable step back offensively, going from 104 points to 84 in 77 contests in 2014-15. His team’s struggles in the second half of the campaign likely didn’t do him any favors either. He had a great season though with his 84-point total being good enough for third in the league’s scoring race.

Crosby joins group of ‘high-end, young’ Canadians at Worlds


A quick glance at some of the forwards that have committed to playing for Team Canada at this year’s World Championship, and perhaps it’s no surprise that Sidney Crosby wanted to be a part of it.

Still, Team Canada GM Nill didn’t expect Crosby to play. And he certainly didn’t expect Crosby to be the one to reach out to him.

“I was going to give him a call out of respect, just to see if he wanted to go,” Nill told TSN 1290. “Well, it was the opposite way. As soon as [the Penguins were eliminated], he reached out to me right away and said, ‘I want to be part of this team.’”

Among the “high-end, young kids” that Crosby will be skating with in the Czech Republic are forwards Claude Giroux, Matt Duchene, Taylor Hall, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyler Seguin, and Ryan O’Reilly, while on defense, there’s 19-year-old Aaron Ekblad.

“They’re the new guys that are kind of taking over Hockey Canada, so it’s going to be very exciting to watch,” said Nill.

Team Canada opens the tournament Friday against Latvia.

Related: NBCSN to air every Team USA game at Worlds

Dallas has really cornered the market on hip surgeries

Jamie Benn

The Dallas Stars are quickly becoming experts in the field of hip surgery.

Captain and Art Ross winner Jamie Benn had his first last week, and is now resting up before undergoing another. Alternate captain Trevor Daley had his on Thursday, Ales Hemsky had his on Monday — and these came after a regular season in which Valeri Nichushkin went under the knife in November (granted, he had groin problems in addition to hip issues.)

Oh yeah, last April defenseman John Klingberg had double hip surgery.

But it’s not like the Stars are freaking out or anything.

“There is concern whenever you have surgery, but we feel good about the timing and about the time that each will have to rehabilitate properly,” GM Jim Nill said, per the Dallas Morning News. “If you have to deal with these during the season, then you miss almost all of the season.

“If you take care of it now, then you’re ready to go.”

The hope, of course, is that everybody will be rehabbed, healthy and ready to go for the start of next year, so Dallas can avoid the same slow start that derailed its playoff hopes in 2014-15. Injuries certainly played their role: Nichushkin missed almost the entire season with his ailment, Klingberg was slow getting out of the gate following his procedure and Patrik Nemeth was gone for months following a serious skate laceration.

As for Benn, Daley and Hemsky, Nill admitted all three were slowed this year by their respective ailments. Benn and Daley didn’t seem to show it — the former had a career-high 87 points, the latter a career-high 16 goals — but Hemsky was a major disappointment and looked out of sorts all season long.

“I think you look at all three, and all three were limited by the injuries,” Nill said. “I expect them to come back and be even better next season when they’re completely healthy.”