The Dallas Stars kicked off training camp Sunday afternoon in Frisco, going through a fast-paced on-ice practice session that lasted a little more than an hour.
A total of 26 players – 15 forwards, 8 defenseman and 3 goaltenders – were on the ice, running through a series of drills before a good crowd at the team’s practice facility.
The group of forwards included key offseason additions Jaromir Jagr, Ray Whitney and Derek Roy. Aaron Rome, signed as a free agent in July, was a new face on defense.
Six players from the Texas Stars – forwards Cody Eakin, Reilly Smith and Antoine Roussel, defensemen Brenden Dillon and Jordie Benn, and goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp – were called up in time for day one of camp.
Two of the team’s top prospects playing in junior hockey – forwards Brett Ritchie and Radek Faksa- were on the ice as well.
The pace was a notch higher than the recent skates the players have been putting themselves through as they waited for the NHL lockout to officially end and training camps to open.
It was much different. A lot faster pace, a little more intensity in it,” said Whitney. “When guys are leaning on you it makes a difference. Your legs that you feel in shape all of sudden don’t feel as good a shape when you have someone leaning on you. Overall, it was a pretty good pace and a pretty good practice.”
“I think the pace has gotten better every day,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow. “For those of us that haven’t played any games, this is what we are going to see on Saturday. As much competition and repetition you can get at this speed, it is going to pay off.”
Training camp will be short, running less than a week. The Stars open the season on Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes at American Airlines Center. There’s a lot to accomplish. Sunday primarily focused on defensive work.
“We talked about our D zone, how we want to play in our D zone and we finished it off with some neutral zone schemes,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “Tomorrow, we are going to get into tracking and our forecheck and our systems work. We’re trying to combine the systems work with a little bit of tempo so you are getting the guys up to a good sweat and a pace, and slowing it down to do some teaching. We’re going to have to do that for the first two or three days. This training camp – if you videotaped Prince Edward Island last year – it’s going to be a lot the same.”
Here was Sunday’s practice lineup. Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said you can read something into the line combinations, but don’t carve them in stone.
“They have some meaning, but if you are writing down lines today write them in pencil,” Gulutzan said. “At the end of the day we have competition, we have fresh legs. We’re about Saturday night, we’re about getting off to a good start.”
|#||Forwards (15)||Ht.||Wt.||Birth Date||Birth Place||Shoots|
|10||Morrow, Brenden||6′ 0″||205||January 16, 1979||Carlyle, SK, CAN||Left|
|11||Roy, Derek||5′ 9″||184||May 4, 1983||Ottawa, ON, CAN||Left|
|13||Whitney, Ray||5′ 10″||180||May 8, 1972||Fort Saskatchewan, AB, CAN||Right|
|18||Smith, Reilly||6’1″||192||April 1, 1991||Toronto, ON, CAN||Left|
|20||Eakin, Cody||6′ 0″||193||May 24, 1991||Winnipeg, MB, CAN||Left|
|21||Eriksson, Loui||6′ 2″||196||July 17, 1985||Gothenburg, SWE||Left|
|23||Wandell, Tom||6′ 1″||200||January 29, 1987||Sodertalje, SWE||Left|
|24||Nystrom, Eric||6′ 1″||193||February 14, 1983||Syosset, NY, USA||Left|
|38||Fiddler, Vernon||5′ 11″||197||May 9, 1980||Edmonton, AB, CAN||Left|
|40||Garbutt, Ryan||6′ 0″||190||August 12, 1985||Winnipeg, MB, CAN||Left|
|46||Ritchie, Brett||6′ 3″||209||July 1, 1993||Orangeville, ON, CAN||Right|
|60||Roussel, Antoine||6′ 0″||200||November 21, 1989||Roubaix, FRA||Left|
|68||Jagr, Jaromir||6′ 3″||240||February 15, 1972||Kladno, CZE||Left|
|73||Ryder, Michael||6′ 0″||198||March 31, 1980||Bonavista, NL, CAN||Right|
|94||Faksa, Radek||6′ 3″||202||January 9, 1994||Vitkov, CZE||Left|
|#||Defensemen (8)||Ht.||Wt.||Birth Date||Birth Place||Shoots|
|3||Robidas, Stephane||5′ 11″||196||March 3, 1977||Sherbrooke, QC, CAN||Right|
|4||Dillon, Brenden||6′ 3″||228||November 13, 1990||New Westminster, BC, CAN||Left|
|6||Daley, Trevor||5′ 11″||198||October 9, 1983||Toronto, ON, CAN||Left|
|27||Rome, Aaron||6′ 1″||218||September 27, 1983||Nesbitt, MB, CAN||Left|
|28||Fistric, Mark||6′ 2″||233||June 1, 1986||Edmonton, AB, CAN||Left|
|33||Goligoski, Alex||5′ 11″||181||July 30, 1985||Grand Rapids, MN, USA||Left|
|36||Larsen, Philip||6′ 0″||190||December 7, 1989||Esbjerg, DNK||Right|
|58||Benn, Jordie||6′ 1″||205||July 26, 1987||Victoria, BC, CAN||Left|
|#||Goaltenders (3)||Ht.||Wt.||Birth Date||Birth Place||Catches|
|31||Bachman, Richard||5′ 10″||175||July 25, 1987||Salt Lake City, UT, USA||Left|
|32||Lehtonen, Kari||6′ 4″||217||November 16, 1983||Helsinki, FIN||Left|
|41||Nilstorp, Cristopher||6′ 4″||184||February 16, 1984||Malmo, SWE||Right|