Monday, October 2, 2006

stars roster analysis

The Stars will host the All-Star Game this season, bringing the best in the NHL to American Airlines Center on Wednesday, Jan. 24. Dallas starts the season on the road in Colorado this Wednesday against the Avs team the knocked them out in the first round of the playoffs last year.

Here's Mike Heika's analysis of this year's Stars roster.

No. 10 Brenden Morrow
Ht./wt: 5-11, 205
Born: Jan. 16, 1979, Carlyle, Saskatchewan
2006-07 salary: $2.2 million
2005-06 stats: 23 goals, 42 assists (+30)

By the break: He could be an All-Star. A gritty scorer who has earned the respect of Team Canada officials in their selections, he could be in for a career year.

All-Star moment: In the 1999 World Juniors, Morrow had a goal and six assists in Canada's 12-2 win over Kazakhstan. "It was one point short of Mario Lemieux's record, so that was probably my best memory."

No. 15 Niklas Hagman
Ht./wt.: 6-0, 205
Born: Dec. 5, 1979, Espoo, Finland
2006-07 salary: $675,000
2005-06 stats: 8 goals, 13 assists (-10)

By the break: He should have established himself as an important part of the checking line and possibly even matched his scoring totals from last season.

All-Star moment: Hagman participated in the YoungStars game as a rookie member of the Florida Panthers in 2003. "It was kind of all over the place, because it wasn't a real game," he said.

No. 17 Mathias Tjarnqvist
Ht./wt.: 6-2, 196
Born: April 15, 1979, Umea, Sweden
2006-07 salary: $450,000
2005-06 stats: 2 goals, 4 assists (+4)

By the break: He will have either pushed his way into the lineup or he'll have a ton of healthy scratches.

All-Star moment: "Growing up, I just loved watching guys like [Wayne] Gretzky and [Mario] Lemieux. You couldn't see them much over there, so the All- Star Game was always a chance to watch them play."

No. 36 Jussi Jokinen
Ht./wt.: 5-11, 190
Born: April 1, 1983, Kalajoki, Finland
2006-07 salary: $700,000
2005-06 stats: 17 goals, 38 assists (+2)

By the break: He could be one of the top scorers on the team. Remember, he averaged only 13:34 in ice time last season. Look for him to step it up with Mike Modano.

All-Star moment: "Jaromir Jagr was one of my all-time favorite guys, and it was great watching him in All-Star games, because it was so open and he could do so much."

No. 20 Antti Miettinen
Ht./wt.: 6-0, 190
Born: July 3, 1980, Hameenlinna, Finland
2006-07 salary: $450,000
2005-06 stats: 11 goals, 20 assists (E)

By the break: He could be this year's version of Jussi Jokinen. Miettinen is getting moved up from the third line to the second line, and that means he not only will play with more offensive-minded players, he will also get time on the power play.

All-Star moment: Miettinen has never played in an All-Star Game. When asked if it was a dream this year, he said, "Of course. With the game here, this would be a good year to play."

No. 26 Jere Lehtinen
Ht./wt.: 6-0, 192
Born: June 24, 1973, Espoo, Finland
2006-07 salary: $2.77 million
2005-06 stats: 33 goals, 19 assists (+9)

By the break: He will probably be chugging along on pace for 30 goals and 60 points. Lehtinen is a model of consistency. At 33, he's still in the prime of his career.

All-Star moment: In his first All-Star Game, in 1998 in Vancouver, he played in a rotation with three other Finns – Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Jari Kurri – and the quartet combined for four goals and 10 points.

No. 77 Matthew Barnaby
Ht./wt.: 6-1, 191
Born: May 4, 1973, Ottawa
2006-07 salary: $625,000
2005-06 stats: 8 goals, 20 assists (-11)

By the break: He will probably have half of the entries on the Stars' highlight reel. How many involve goals is up for debate. He is a nice addition as a fighter and an instigator.

All-Star moment: His most memorable performance came at the junior hockey level when he represented Quebec against Ontario. "We were big rivals, so I spent the whole game chasing people around and trying to get into fights."

No. 3 Stephane Robidas
Ht./wt.: 5-11, 190
Born: March 3, 1977, Sherbrooke, Quebec
2006-07 salary: $550,000
2005-06 stats: 5 goals, 15 assists (+15)

By the break: He'll either be a fixture and play almost every game or he'll be the odd man out in the seven-man defensive shuffle. He has made himself a tough scratch, though.

All-Star moment: As a member of the Shawinigan Cataractes, Robidas collected 79 points in 65 games and earned a spot in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League All-Star Game. He tallied two assists.

No. 5 Darryl Sydor
Ht./wt.: 6-1, 211
Born: May 13, 1972, Edmonton, Alberta
2006-07 salary: $2.128 million
2005-06 stats: 4 goals, 19 assists (-18)

By the break: He could be Sergei Zubov's constant companion or an important part of a defensive plan. Either way, Sydor should be a very important part of the team's leadership.

All-Star moment: Sydor qualified for his first NHL All-Star Game in 1998 in Vancouver. Just walking into a dressing room with Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier was memorable.

No. 6 Trevor Daley
Ht./wt.: 5-11, 207
Born: Oct. 9, 1983, Toronto
2006-07 salary: $775,000
2005-06 stats: 3 goals, 11 assists (-3)

By the break: He could be getting important power play time and taking the next step in his advancement as a skilled defenseman, or he could be one of the team's top penalty killers and a solid third-pair guy.

All-Star moment: In his last year of junior hockey, Daley made the Ontario Hockey League All-Star Game in Kitchener, Ontario, and saw a bunch of old friends he played hockey with in his youth.

No. 42 Jon Klemm
Ht./wt.: 6-2, 200
Born: Jan. 8, 1970, Cranbrook, B.C.
2006-07 salary: $950,000
2005-06 stats: 4 goals, 7 assists (-3)

By the break: Klemm is also on that bubble of being a great contributor or playing someplace else. If they suit him up, they could get another 76 solid games out of him.

All-Star moment: Playing for Spokane in the WHL All-Star Game in 1991, Klemm had a hat trick of a strange kind. "My team won, I had an assist and Syd was my roommate," Syd would be current teammate Darryl Sydor, who was then playing for Kamloops.

No. 43 Philippe Boucher
Ht./wt.: 6-3, 218
Born: May 24, 1973, Ste-Apollinaire, Quebec
2006-07 salary: $2.5 million
2005-06 stats: 16 goals, 27 assists (+28)

By the break: If you look at what he accomplished in only 66 games last season, you'll see he can be among the best in the league.

All-Star moment: Boucher made the AHL All-Star Game during the 1994 lockout. "I had to go through a two-a- day practice in Buffalo, then get on a plane and fly to Providence. I made it about two minutes before the game started."

No. 44 Jaroslav Modry
Ht./wt.: 6-2, 220
Born: May 27, 1971, Ceske-Budejovice, Czech Republic
2006-07 salary: $1.9 million
2005-06 stats: 7 goals, 31 assists (-9)

By the break: He could be Doug Armstrong's best move of the summer. While Modry has the reputation of being slow defensively, he has looked terrific in the preseason.

All-Star moment: Modry took his dad to the NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles. "My dad got to go and be a part of the activities, and it was just so great. He cried tears of joy."

No. 56 Sergei Zubov
Ht./wt.: 6-1, 200 Born: July 27, 1970, Moscow
2006-07 salary: $4 million
2005-06 stats: 13 goals, 58 assists (+20)

By the break: Zubov was a finalist for the Norris Trophy last season. He is still considered one of the top defensemen in the league, even at age 36.

All-Star moment: Hefaced Dominik Hasek in practice at the 2003 NHL All-Star Game. "We went through a shootout session and practice, 30-35 minutes probably, and he allowed one goal. One!"

No. 9 Mike Modano
Ht./wt.: 6-3, 210
Born: June 7, 1970, Livonia, Mich.
2006-07 salary: $4.25 million
2005-06 stats: 27 goals, 50 assists (+23)

By the break: He could be working on a 90-point season. If he takes full advantage of the chance to be an offensive- minded player, Modano could have a career year.

All-Star moment: Getting beat out for the All-Star MVP trophy in 1999 by Wayne Gretz- ky. Modano had a goal and three assists, but Gretzky was playing in his final All-Star Game and won the vote.

No. 88 Eric Lindros
Ht./wt.: 6-4, 240
Born: Feb. 28, 1973, London, Ontario
2006-07 salary: $1.55-2.5 million
2005-06 stats: 11 goals, 11 assists (-3)

By the break: He could be the team's leading scorer or pondering the end of his career. He has battled eight reported concussions.

All-Star moment: NHL officials named him the replacement for starter Steve Yzerman in 1999, but he handed the honor to Wayne Gretzky for his final appearance.

No. 11 Jeff Halpern
Ht./wt.: 6-0, 203
Born: May 3, 1976, Potomac, Md.
2006-07 salary: $2 million
2005-06 stats: 11 goals, 33 assists (-8)

By the break: A tenacious checker with decent skill, Halpern could play a huge role in freeing up Mike Modano.

All-Star moment: Halpern's best memory came in a baseball game when he was 10. "It was the first time I ever faced curveballs, and I struck out on three pitches."

No. 14 Stu Barnes
Ht./wt.: 5-11, 182
Born: Dec. 25, 1970, Spruce Grove, Alberta
2006-07 salary: $1.14 million
2005-06 stats: 15 goals, 21 assists (+9)

By the break: He could be filling the second-line center role if Eric Lindros is hurt or helping Jeff Halpern out as a wing on the checking line.

All-Star moment: "I was playing for Tri-City and Mike [Modano] was playing for Prince Albert [in 1988]. Mike broke his hand in the game. I just remember what a terrible thing for him, in an All-Star Game."

No. 27 Patrik Stefan
Ht./wt.: 6-2, 205
Born: Sept. 16, 1980, Pribham, Czech Rep.
2006-07 salary: $900,000
2005-06 stats: 10 goals, 14 assists (+3)

By the break: Stefan is hoping to get a fresh start in Dallas, but the Stars seem to have better options at every center position.

All-Star moment: "I was with Long Beach in 1999, and I had been selected to play in the IHL All-Star Game. But a couple of games before, I got a con- cussion and couldn't go."

No. 29 Steve Ott
Ht./wt.: 6-0, 193
Born: Aug. 19, 1992, Summerside, P.E.I.
2006-07 salary: $775,000
2005-06 stats: 5 goals, 17 assists (+1)

By the break: is hoping to up his point totals, but it will be difficult on a team this deep in forwards.

All-Star moment: In the 2001 OHL All-Star Game, Ott received a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct penalty. "But we were playing guys from the other league," he said.

No. 71 Mike Ribeiro
Ht./wt.: 6-0, 175
Born: Feb. 10, 1980, Montreal
2006-07 salary: $1.9 million
2005-06 stats: 16 goals, 35 assists (-6)

By the break: It will be interesting to see if the Stars want to keep Ribeiro and build with the talented young playmaker or trade him for a winger.

All-Star moment: Ribeiro had a goal and three assists in the 2002 YoungStars game in Los Angeles. He fed Brenden Morrow for one of his assists.

No. 35 Marty Turco
Ht./wt.: 5-11, 185
Born: Aug. 13, 1975, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
2006-07 salary: $6 million
2005-06 stats: 41-19-5, 2.55 GAA, .898 save

By the break: He should be among the top 10 goalies in the NHL. That's what Turco has been pretty much every season of his five-year career, with a 2.08 GAA in that span.

All-Star moment: Turco played the third period of the 2003 NHL All-Star Game and won the game in a shootout. Of course, if you want to throw in the fact he started the 2004 game in Minnesota, that's also a pretty good memory.

No. 41 Mike Smith
Ht./wt.: 6-3, 211
Born: March 22, 1982, Kingston, Ontario
2006-07 salary: $495,000
2005-06 stats: 25-19-6, 2.50, .917 (Iowa, AHL)

By the break: He'll either be a solid NHL backup or playing goalie in Iowa. Smith is 24 and appears ready to handle the step up.

All-Star moment: Smith played in the 2003 East Coast Hockey League All-Star Game on the strength of one memorable game: He scored a goal and posted a shutout in a 2-0 win over Dayton in October of that season.

Dave Tippett
Born: Aug. 25, 1961, Moosomin, Sask.
Last season: 53-23-6
Career record: 140-71-33
Key stat: Has best winning percentage (.641) among active NHL coaches.

By the break: He'll be on top of the world or ready to pop a vein in his forehead. Tippett appears to have turned up the pressure on everyone this year, including himself.

All-Star moment When he was an assistant coach with the Kings in 2002, Tippett was asked to play as a member of the NHL alumni against the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team.

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