Recently, Steve Hunt of FSN Southwest caught up with both Dallas Stars Broadcaster Daryl "Razor" Reaugh and Team GM Joe Nieuwendyk about the season that just started the team looks to get back to the playoffs after finishing 12th last season.
In this Q&A with Razor, Hunt ask the long time team broadcaster who's entering his 14th year with the club about Mike Modano becoming a Detroit Red Wing, some of the team's top prospects like Scott Glennie and Jack Campbell. He also has his thoughts on the pending sale of the team as well as he thinks his job has changed over the years he's been with the Stars being on TV.
Here's the Q&A by Steve Hunt of FSN Southwest.
FSN Southwest: Will it be weird seeing Mike Modano in a Red Wings Sweater come October?
DR: I think it's always weird when you have an individual who was played in organization for that period of time or close to it. It's just like when Ray Bourque left Boston and showed up in an Avalanche uniform. Something just doesn't seem right. It won't seem right - 20 seasons in one uniform and then he's wearing the Wheeled Wing on his chest. It will be odd but it's not an unprecedented because they have been a lot of Hall of Fame, great players who've finished their career then were they were a hall of fame players. I cited before a lot-of-people forget Bobby Orr finished his career as a Chicago Blackhawk. I don't think anyone thinks of him as a Chicago Blackhawk, but that's where he finished his career.
FSN Southwest: Do you think that 2009 Draft Pick Scott Glennie will make the team this fall?
DR: He'll get an opportunity to show what he can do. The organization seems like even with different people in the big boy chair, the GM's Office, have always talked about patience and never wanting to rush anybody. It's bit of a different animal now because young players and cheap players. That's why a lot of teams are ushering some of their young players into the lineup earlier. That and there's a belief also that there always going to get better coaching at the NHL Level then they are at any other level. Whetever that's right or wrong, I think a lot of times, you look at the path Steve Ott, Marty Turco, James Neal and you can go on down the list. They almost all spent time in the minors first before they became NHL Players. Now that was a bit of a different time in the league. I think they'd take a little time to develop a little bit more before they legitimately find themselves on the roster.
FSN Southwest: What do you think of the team drafting Jack Campbell this year?
DR: Talking to some people up here this summer, it made a 1000 percent sense. You have a guy who the consensus is that he is a legit stud, franchise type of player. Usually, in every draft they are three or four of those at most and sometimes it's a really rich draft and there can be six or seven guys you can look at and say that's a guy that will be around for 20 years and you're going to be able to build your franchise, your marketing and everything else. He's one of those individuals and he fits a need. The organization breeds and develops a lot of great goaltenders. They're at a point where they need to grab another great one.That's not to say they don't have excellent goaltenders now. They certainly do on paper. If Kari Lehtonen can play up to his potential, they have a guy that should be one of the cream of the crop in the NHL once he hits his stride at this level. From every indication I've heard, he's exactly what you need in a modern goaltender. He's a big guy, extremely confident, a terrific athlete and he has done nothing but dominate at every level he's played at.
FSN Southwest: Do you see the sale of the team getting done before the season?
DR: Well, you think about it. Everybody that says well, we're just going to consecrate on us is lying because it effects so many things. It effects how much money gets spent in a lot of areas. There is a ton of uncertainly and a sense that you're semi in limbo. Yet at the same time, if you look at what the Rangers have been able with it sort of hanging over their heads, it gives belief to everybody, especially the people involved with the Stars that it can be business as normal and you've got to overcome maybe some defenices in other areas. Best case scan, we open up the paper and the sale is done and there's new ownership. You start marching forward with that leadership in that group. The way the baseball team sale unraveled, you can't expect that's going to happen anytime soon. I don't even know how that's going to stop. Are they going to be countersuits and everything else? It was the craziest sale ever?
FSN Southwest: It's been a few years since the Stars were in the playoffs, what do you think need to do to break that drought?
DR: They have to be good early. A good example would be Phoenix last year and it goes beyond that. But it you look at Phoenix last year, they got the benefit of a lot of teams overlooking them early in the season and built up a lot of healthy poin0 totals. That allows you to have a swoon somewhere down the line. If you look at the history and playoff teams, by November 1 or even November 30, you have a pretty good indication of who's going to make the playoffs and who won't. It can fluctuate a little bit. I think a couple of years ago, on November 1, there was one team out of the playoffs in the Western Conference and one team that was in the top 8 that flip-flopped. That's how important it is to have a good start. The Stars haven't had a very good October for a while now, certainly in the last couple years And it's a reason why they haven't been a playoff team. One was the so called hangover after losing in the Western Conference Finals and coming out of that. There were mistakes made as far as i'm concerned in getting the team refocused and ready to go for training camp. And then last year, a new coach, new systems and stumbles right out of the gate. You don't have the talented team. Maybe they're going to be able to benefit that some people might look at them and think no more Mike Modano, even though he was more a support player the last couple of years then he was a featured guy, no more Marty Turco and the overall attitude toward the Stars might be off a little bit more for a while. Then, it's going to be up to the Stars as a team to make the most out of an opportunity and earn some of the respect that has faded a little bit after not making the playoffs two years in a row.
FSN Southwest: Could you see this year's team buy into Marc Crawford is saying more then they did last year as the new head coach?
DR: You should, it's an excuse but theirs probably some legitimacy to it, especially when you had a coach for as long as they had Dave Tippett. You understand how things are done and then, some pretty radical changes come in. It's just a different voice, a different way of doing things, a different time for meetings and there was a lot of different things. That undermined a lot of what they needed to do. There were some individuals who didn't have good starts in trying to fit in and perhaps pouting a little bit, who knows? One guy that was phenomenal and seemed to get it from day one was Brad Richards. If he can get it, do it and worked well for him, I don't know why it didn't work for more. But there's no question there were growing pains last year that shouldn't be there this year.
FSN Southwest: With both Modano and Turco now playing elsewhere, does that face of the franchise label change to Brad Richards?
DR: Well, they're going to his home Provence to make sure they tell him how much they love him for training camp. I think he is but Brendan Morrow had an odd year. He didn't have a great season as a Dallas Star but he had a great season as a hockey player because of went on at the Olympics. He's been the poster boy for what the Stars Identity is supposed to be for the past three years and so then last year, he was sort of the poster boy for some of the confusion or underachieving that went on with the the team under a completely different regime. It was odd. I expect him to bounce back. I would expect the team to have some individuals who were maybe down a pint last year in some areas to firm up. They don't need to be that much better, just a little bit better and they're a playoff team. As far as an identify, hopefully the goaltender is world class and people can identify to that. Hopefully Brendan Morrow bounces back and is the player that we've come to know that he is and Brad Richards can do the same thing here last year and have some people jump on board with them. If that happens, this team is going to surprise some people.
FSN Southwest: What is the most rewarding about doing the Stars Games?
DR: Anybody does that we do will tell you that's infinitely easier to do when you're team is winning. Being the broadcaster for the Chicago Blackhawks last year was a great job packed house, fun team win every night, high scorers, you name it. But that's one of the 30 teams. A lot of other teams are going to have to plod their way through it and try to find whatever their motivations are to make it interesting for the fans, do your job and don't have some of the negatives bleed through to the air so that people are wondering why they would tune into this if the broadcasters are not into it. I never feel that way. My attitude always been that if there are five people watching the game, i'm going to call the game for those five people. I still like it. Even in seven game losing streaks, there is still potential and things to watch. Everybody loves a car wreck in NASCAR and sometimes, that can seep through our business as well in radio and in television. I think it's trying to find different ways of bringing it to the people in a different environment. It is different. You don't want to look at those things through a rose colored glasses and basically lie to people about how good things are when intelligent humans are wondering how good it could be that good? So, you've got to be semi-honest but at the same time, there are positives in every thing. A kid like Jamie Benn last year was a great story in a real down year for the franchise. Hopefully we will have more Jamie Benn stories this year and a better, bigger story team wise. I'm going into the season that they've hit a floor, they going to start bouncing off of it. Hopefully the ownership thing helps us along and it will be a challenge. It will be a challenge to get people to connect with this team with some of the marquee names that they know are gone. Maybe Ralph Strangis and I are the marquee names now, that's sad.
FSN Southwest: What kind of impact do you think newcomer Adam Burish will bring to the team?
DR: I always liked him in Chicago. Every time I've been or been associated with us to have a bit of swagger to it and has to back that swagger up. He's one of those individuals. He's mouthy but backs it up. He's pretty intelligent with his mouthiness. He can play the game. He's now got a championship pedigree on him. He's terrific with the media from what I witnessed in the playoffs. He should fit right in. If he's going to play, your going to have him and Steve Ott. It just adds a little pepper, a little spice to the mix along with a lot of skill that the franchise still has. He'll fit in immediately in a lot of different ways as a leader, as a play. The role that he's in, he really seems to embrace the role that he's played before. He's not of one those guys that demands more ice or this or that. I think it was a very good signing. He'll probably expand his role a little bit in Dallas from what he's playing in Chicago just because they were so deep and so offensively talented.
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