With the North American Hockey League Blaine Showcase dominating things on the website and officially opening up the hockey season for Southwest Teams. Here's a look at other recent news and notes that have happened this week.
Stars Sign James Neal and Matt Niskanen
After long talks and nervously thinking the two of the best young players might miss the start of training camp in PEI, Canada. The Stars last night officially signed both Neal & Niskanen to 2 year deals worth $5.75 Million & $3 Million each over the next two seasons. With now Neal & Niskanen now signed, the Stars finally have all their players from last year resigned and ready to go with the team kicking off training camp in Charlottentown, PEI, Canada this weekend.
For James Neal he's going to make $2.25 Million this upcoming season and then $3.5 Million in the 2011-2012 season. Neal had 55 points (27G 28A) last season. He also had 64 penalty minutes and is looking to add some physicality along the boards and with Modano & Possibly Lehtinen gone, he looks to start adding a leadership role to the team as well for the 23 year old native of Oshawa, Ontario.
Niskanen who has admitted that he didn't have a strong season last year will make $1.25 Million this upcoming season and $1.75 Million next season. Niskanen who's also 23 years old did have a team low -15 Rating last season as he produced 15 Points (3G 12A) and will look to improve +/- rating and be more physical, despite having just 15 penalty minutes stills feel like he's a bit empty handed on the ice at times throughout the season as he played in 74 games last year.
I'm happy that Neal has been re-signed, but it's without a doubt that Niskanen is being overpaid, especially on a team that is having to work on an internal salary cap until this team gets sold. For Neal, i'm expecting another big year and for him to be a part of the Stars Next Generation. Niskanen on the other hand needs to take a big step up and show that he is worth the money next season. He was a very unreliable at times and is almost afraid of taking so called "Good Penalties" that could prevent goals because of the team's shaky defensemen.
Here's some links to read more about the Neal & Niskanen signings.
Stars Agree to Terms
Matt Niskanen Profile
James Neal Profile
Comments from Neal, Niskanen & Nieuwendyk
Begginning of Training Camp
In addition, the Charlottentown Guardian Newspaper will be covering the Dallas Stars Training Camp. Here's two of their stories about Brad Richards coming home and the team arriving.
Stars Arrive in PEI
Brad Richards training in his home Provence
Dallas Stars Midget Major Kicks off Tier 1 Season.
The Dallas Stars Midget Major Team gets their Tier 1 Elite League Season underway this weekend as they will play 4 games this weekend at the Capitol Ice Rink in Middleton, Wisconsin as they will kick off the season playing against the Illinois Division this afternoon at 4:15 PM against Team Illinois. They will also see the Chicago Fury on Saturday Morning, the Cleveland Barons on Saturday Afternoon then the weekend set wraps up against the Chicago Youth Association (CYA) on Sunday Morning.
This is how most of the schedule works as 12 of the 24 teams are in Wisconsin to kick off the Tier 1 Season. Other teams of interest competing their this weekend include the Madison Capitals who are also in the Mid-American Division and Team Illinois who has Arlington Native Cole Martin who played on the Team Illinois Midget Minor Team last year who was taken by the Lincoln Stars in the USHL Futures Draft back in May.
Speaking of the Midget Minor Team, they season gets underway gets going next weekend at the Chiller North Rink which is in Lewis Center, Ohio.
Here's the Midget Major Schedule for this weekend
9/17: VS. Team Illinois 4:15 PM
9/18: VS. Chicago Fury 8:30 AM
9/18: VS. Cleveland Barons 4:00 PM
9/19: VS. CYA 8:00 AM
Dallas Stars AAA Website
Team Roster & Stats
Texas Stars Announce 2010-2011 Promotions
The Dallas Stars AHL Affliate has announced their promotions & Special Events for the 2010-2011 season. A few of them will include a military night, wearing special Jerseys and 3-2-1 nights where you can get special deals in both the gift shots and Concession Stands.
To see the Full List, Click Here
Texas Stars & San Antonio Rampage Announce Youth Hockey Commitments
In an effort to help improve the numbers of hockey participation in both the Austin & San Antonio Areas, both the Texas Stars & San Antonio Rampage have announced major commitments to help improve youth hockey in their areas to form the Texas Junior Stars & San Antonio Jr. Rampage.
To see more on both projects, click on the team links below.
San Antonio Rampage
Here's a look at the Home Openers for all 4 SW AHL Teams as the Season starts in less then a month.
Houston Aeros: 10/16 VS. Peoria Rivermen
Oklahoma City Barons: 10/9 VS. Houston Aeros
Texas Stars: 10/16 VS. San Antonio Rampage
San Antonio Rampage: 10/8 VS. Chicago Wolves
AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League Preseason Showcase
With last weekend being the Leveling Showcase for the AT&T Metroplex HS Hockey League Showcase. Here's a look at what the Divisions could look like at the Varsity Level when the season starts next month in the D/FW Area.
Here's a look at how the teams did last weekend in the Varsity Gold & Silver Divisions. Click on the Ind. Team to see the schedule & Their results from last weekend. Of course things can change on what the actual divisions will look like this season.
Click on the team of your choice to see their results from the weekend, plus rosters, stats as well.
Varsity Gold Division
Plano Senior 3-0-0 6 PTS
Allen 3-0-0 6 PTS
Coppell 2-1-0 4 PTS
SL Carroll 1-1-1 3 PTS
Plano West 1-1-1 3 PTS
Frisco ISD 1-2-0 2 PTS
Dallas Jesuit 1-2-0 2 PTS
Flower Mound 0-3-0 0 PTS
Varsity Silver Division
Richardson/Rockwall 3-0-0 6 PTS
Keller ISD 3-0-0 6 PTS
Mansfield ISD 3-0-0 6 PTS
FM Marcus 2-0-1 5 PTS
Highland Park 2-1-0 4 PTS
Midlothian 2-1-0 4 PTS
Prosper 2-1-0 4 PTS
Arlington Martin 2-1-0 4 PTS
Garland ISD 1-1-1 3 PTS
Mckinney ISD 1-2-0 2 PTS
Plano East 0-3-0 0 PTS
Lovejoy 0-3-0 0 PTS
Grapevine 0-3-0 0 PTS
Arlington Wild 0-3-0 0 PTS
Bishop Lynch 0-3-0 0 PTS
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