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*do do de dum* It’s time for the weekly ex-Stars update *do do de dum*

Niklas Hagman has been on fire in Toronto. He has 2 goals and 2 assists in the last two games (both against Carolina). Sadly they lost the first game and lost the second game in overtime. The goalies in Leafs Land aren’t performing that well, but their defense rarely performs in front of them either. Yes, Hagman still does his super cute/awesome goal expressions and he has the best smile of any Finn I’ve ever seen.

Jeff Halpern skated with the Lightning for the first time today, and is scheduled to come back sometime in mid to late December. He’s been skating on his own for a little over a month, but he joined the team at practice for the first time today. He says he hopes to begin skating full-contact in 3 weeks. It’ll be great for him to get back on the ice. Tampa could use the defensive and scoring help.

Jason Arnott and Teppo Numminen are the only two ex-Stars to be on the All-Star ballot for this season’s game in Montreal. I don’t see either of them making the starting lineup, but it’s nice to see them on the ballot. It’s also great to see Numminen well enough to be playing again.

Mike Smith, however, is NOT on the All-Star ballot, so he will be my write-in candidate for the East. He is still in the Top 5 for save percentage and goals against, and is single-handedly supporting a Tampa team that has a lot of [questionable] talent but isn’t producing much. I predicted that he will be the first (?) goalie to win the Vezina and not make the playoffs. Hopefully that won’t happen, he deserves to make the playoffs.

Darryl Sydor has asked the Penguins for a trade since he’s been a healthy scratch for most of the year he’s been in Pittsburgh. Why you’d sit Darryl Sydor, I have no idea… I guess they’re all too infatuated with Cindy to notice the real “Syd”

I think that’s it for the important update. Mittens has calmed down since the Wild lost to Dallas, and Jussi scored a goal against the Sabres last week.

Amy

James Neal still not back in Dallas – boo Stars

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According to the NHL’s website, Teppo Numminen has been cleared to play again after having open heart surgery last year. Teppo was a part of our team in 2003-04 and he was one of the hardest working and nicest guys I’ve ever met. I was at practice the day he was diagnosed with a dilated aorta, and he stopped to pose for pictures and signed autographs even though he had to be way nervous about going to the doctor after practice. I remember he parked in the public area of the parking lot, and he nicely parted the crowd to get to his car.

I say all this because I think the Sabres treated a great player and a great person very poorly. They suspended him without pay for the time while he was out. This was just a few weeks after they announced he would be captain for the 2007-08 season.

I know that the bottom line is hockey is a business, and the players often pay for this. Teppo, a steady defenseman who showed heart and grit for every team he’s played for, deserved far more than what he got from the Sabres management.

He’ll be a free agent this summer, and any team would be lucky to pick him up.

Amy

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