With a lot of waiting around by Dallas Stars fans, the news and action is finally starting to get underway. This week kicks off the start of some real action with the NHL Awards Show tonight and the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at the end of the week. Along with that some more news is starting to happen involving the Stars.
First off, although the Stars have yet to release anything schedule-wise for the upcoming season, the Phoenix Coyotes released their preseason schedule and it looks like the two teams will play each other in Texas. The crazy part of it is, the game will be at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Roadtrip time for Stars fans. It immediately will be one of the most focused one hockey events during the preseason. A hockey game…..in a football stadium….in September…..IN TEXAS?!? Yes some fans and people right away are wondering about it, and it will of course draw some attention as we get closer to the event. Some are already talking about it being an event that could stir up more talk about a Winter Classic event in the south. It will happen September 23rd, and a lot of eyes might be on this game and how it all goes down. I definitely think it will be intriguing and hope to make the trip down for the game.
Tonight the off-season of the NHL really gets underway, by giving away the annual trophies and awards for last season. One Dallas Star will be in the midst of it all tonight, as Loui Eriksson is up for the Lady Byng. The same Lady Byng that teammate and linemate (well until July 1st) Brad Richards was nominated for last year. The award goes to the player “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” but he squares off against Lidstrom and last year’s winner Martin St. Louis. Sadly I don’t expect Loui to win, but you never know. And it is nice to at least see him get some recognition.
Stay tuned this week, as the NHL news is starting to pour in. Of course the NHL draft is Friday and we will have a lot of draft talk here, but also the schedule should be released this next week and free agency starts in a little over a week. Get ready, the NHL off-season is in full swing now!