The month of June is finally here, and that means that the hockey offseason is around the corner. What all do the Dallas Stars have to look forward to in the coming month? Here’s a list of the important stuff.
There’s nothing like the refreshing month of June on the hockey calendar for a team like the Dallas Stars. It’s the final month of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and can provide an immense amount of relief for a team that has been watching playoff hockey since the regular season ended.
That relief comes in the form of a clean slate. After the Stanley Cup is awarded, the reset button is hit. Every NHL team moves back to square one and begins the preparation for the next season. While one team may get to celebrate a little while longer, every other club is focused on preparing for next October.
And for the Stars, they are wasting no time in their preparations. With a to-do list chock full of necessary actions, they are also anxiously awaiting the official start of the offseason. That’s when things really get interesting, after all.
But the Stars have plenty to keep up with this month as they prepare for the opening of free agency (which is one month from today). There are moves that must be made and decisions that must be prepared for. That’s what makes the offseason fun, but also makes it stressful in its own sense.
More from Blackout Dallas
- All Time Stars: The top 5 forwards in Dallas Stars history
- Should the Dallas Stars require proof of COVID-19 vaccine at the arena?
- Report: Dallas Stars are 2nd-most disliked team in North American sports
- 3 prospects to watch for at Dallas Stars developmental camp
- What the Dallas Stars need from Denis Gurianov this season
So, as a Dallas Stars fan, you may be struggling to keep all of the June happenings in order. Don’t worry: we’re here to help.
Here is a quick rundown of all of the important stuff that you’ll want to keep an eye on in June 2018.
1. The Stanley Cup Final
Pretty self-explanatory here. While the Dallas Stars aren’t competing for the Cup, any hockey fan would be crazy to skip out on this Final.
It’s the two best teams left in the league, each carrying a significant story that they are trying to fulfill. The first two games have been absolutely riveting and it looks as though it will only get better from here. On top of that, this is the last NHL action to indulge in before the wait to October begins.
Game three is on Saturday night and game four is on Monday. Make sure to keep up with all of the action. You won’t regret it this year.
2. Calder Cup Finals
But that’s not the only championship you should be watching.
The Calder Cup Finals begin on Saturday, June 2 as the Texas Stars face off with the Toronto Marlies for AHL supremacy.
After a nearly improbable run through the final weeks of the season and into the first three rounds of the playoffs, the Texas Stars have their sights set on the Calder. The team is rolling thanks to some superb goaltending from Mike McKenna and an impressive buy-in spirit from the rest of the group.
Texas is looking to capture its second Calder Cup championship in four years. Not bad for a team that debuted in 2009. Make sure to tune in and check out all of the action.
3. Assistant coaching hires
Jim Montgomery is already hard at work in the first month of his professional coaching career.
After being hired as the new head coach of the Dallas Stars on May 4, Monty has been working to assemble his career before the offseason frenzy kicks off. One of his primary focuses happens to be hiring assistant coaches.
On Wednesday morning, the Stars officially announced the hiring of former Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) head coach Todd Nelson as a new assistant. But Montgomery still needs another assistant coach to complete the trifecta. And on top of that, he is also looking for another video coach to work alongside Kelly Forbes.
These hires will likely be made before the draft, so keep your eyes open for more news here in the next few weeks. The staff is coming together nicely.
4. NHL schedule release
One of the more exciting parts about the NHL in June that is frequently swept under the rug is the regular season schedule release. It typically takes place in the block of time between the end of the Final and the start of the draft.
Each year, the NHL releases the regular season schedule for all 31 teams. Fans get a chance to see which opponent their favorite team opens up the regular season against and whether it is at home or on the road.
Will the Dallas Stars open at home yet again to start the 2018-19 regular season? We should find out here in the next two or three weeks.
5. 2018 NHL Entry Draft
The NHL Entry Draft will make its debut in Texas this summer as the Stars set up to host the 2018 Draft. The two-day event will run from June 22-23, with round one going on Friday night and rounds 2-7 going on Saturday.
It’s a time for the youngest stars in the game to see where their futures will begin. And this year, Dallas Stars fans will easily be able to access the event. With parties going on outside and tickets still available for the draft portion on Saturday, make sure to get some while you still can. Oh, and wear Victory Green.
6. Development camp
Though the Stars typically hold their development camp in early July, it’s different when you host the draft.
With your newest prospects literally in the city limits on their first day, it only makes sense to host development camp soon after. And that’s why this summer, Dallas will hold development camp from June 25-29.
It’s a time to see some of the Stars’ youngest and brightest talent on the ice squaring off against each other, trying to impress coaches and management. As per usual, the Stars’ 2018 draft picks should be in attendance.
We’ll know further information in the near future, but make plans to at least go and catch a glimpse of the on-ice sessions.
7. Free agent signings
And to round it all out, keep your eyes peeled for contract talks.
The Dallas Stars have a plethora of unrestricted and restricted free agents to negotiate with this summer, and a lot of decisions must be made. Who should they re-sign? Who should they let go?
Many of these decisions will be made throughout the month of June. They will give fans a better glimpse of how July 1 will shape out for the Stars as the day approaches.
But in the next month, there will likely be plenty of RFA signings (for players like Mattias Janmark and Stephen Johns). Some will be qualified while others will likely be offered a longer-term contract (two or three years). GM Jim Nill has plenty to keep himself busy with in that regard and is likely already hard at work in the negotiating process.
As you can see, there’s a lot going on in the month of June. The Dallas Stars have a lot to accomplish on their list before July 1, so the clock is now running. Feel free to use this as a reference throughout the month whenever you need a reminder of all that is going down.
Let’s see where this month takes them.