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Archive for the ‘Stu Barnes’ Category

Today marks the one year anniversary of the firing of Doug(ass) Armstrong.

I won’t lie – I was ecstatic on November 13, 2007 when I came into my room after class to see that Tom Hicks had fired Armstrong. I called EVERYONE I knew who had the smallest bit of knowledge about the Stars to rave about how happy I was that this idiot finally got kicked out of his position as GM. I was excited by the newness of the Hulljack tandem. After a year, I can’t say I’m happy with Hulljack either. But in my mind, having one of the NESN announcers as GM would be better than Armstrong.

I guess Armstrong was never going to get my love since the only other GM I knew for the Stars was Bob Gainey… and that’s a hard act to follow – it doesn’t matter who you are. Armstrong struck out permanently with my family when he traded Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner his first week in office. Langenbrunner I didn’t care too much about – I never saw what the big deal was about him. He always seemed to be just a step away from being great, but he could never get there.

The Devils didn’t even WANT Nieuwendyk. The purpose of the trade was Arnott for Langenbrunner because they really wanted Jamie. Doug(ass) threw Nieuwy in to sweeten the deal. I still remember where I was when I heard about the trade. It was spring break, and I was trying to take a nap in my room when I heard my mom cry out that the Stars had gotten rid of Nieuwy, her favorite player at the time. Needless to say, that nap didn’t end up taking place.

Then there was the Darryl Sydor debacle. Armstrong didn’t just let go of him once – he did it twice and even refused to tell Syd whether or not the Stars were interested in signing him again. You DON’T do that to a guy like Sydor, and you knew how he thought about it when he said he was disappointed in the organization. Me too, Syd.

This is what Armstrong was so willing to give up – a man who cared so much for the team that he CRAWLED to the front of the net with a broken ankle because he couldn’t get off the ice.

Perhaps even worse than that was when Armstrong was ready and willing to let Mike Modano go to Chicago. Luckily Tom Hicks stepped in, and I like to imagine he said something along the lines of, “Hey stupid, this is our franchise player. Don’t be dumb enough to just let him leave. Ok? Thanks.”

Big moves aside, Armstrong was famous for trading first round draft picks for old and washed-up players who wouldn’t stay with the team for long. Norstrom’s play in the 2008 postseason was enough to almost completely make up for the previous year of over-paid, almost worthlessness.. but I would have liked the first round pick.

I will give Armstrong a little credit – he did manage to steal Ribeiro from Montreal and gave Brenden a huge contract extension.

But I’m not sure Hulljack have done a better job as GM.

The Stars seem to have a protocol for new GMs – be sure to trade my mom’s favorite hockey player as soon as possible. Hulljack’s first move was to send Jeffy, Smitty, and Jokinen to Tampa for Brad Richards. Now, I don’t think Richards is as much of an idiot as I did when we got him (“I only want to play for winning teams” = I don’t want to help work to make a team better), but I still think we gave up way too much in the trade. This would have been Smitty’s last season on his contract, and I think they should have let the 2 goalies split time this season, and then pick a starter at the end of the season. Then work on sending the other guy to a team he wouldn’t be totally against going to.

I’m not saying Smitty would have gotten the job with us. It just would have been nice to actually let them play it out instead of deciding without giving Smitty a chance. Then the Stars would know for sure that they picked the right goalie for the long-term – something I don’t think they can say today.

And just throwing this out there – it’d be really nice to have a good checking line center who can take faceoffs and absorb almost all the short-handed time. We lost that by getting rid of Jeffy and with Stu’s retirement. Basically, we went from 2 great checking-line centers to zero. And Mike Modano is NOT a checking line center. I don’t care if he’s “old” or “not the face of the team anymore”. He could still score a hell of a lot more goals if they would give him the opportunity to.

Then there was my favorite (heh) decision to tell Hagman that the Stars were “going in a different direction” and weren’t interested in signing him. I guess a mid-twenties, 27-goal scorer didn’t fit into their plans. Instead, we needed to sign Sean Avery. I’m still waiting for someone to explain that one to me.

While I’m on this topic, can someone explain to me why we need 4 players who serve the exact same purpose at different levels of effectiveness? Otter, Barch, Avery, and Crombeen are all the same type of player. We don’t need 4 of them – one, or maybe two, would suffice. Ott is best at the job, so keep him.

They have done good things. Getting the long extension for Ribeiro was good, and picking up Brunnstrom has the potential to be great. Sadly they promised him all NHL time when he could really benefit more from playing a lot of minutes in the AHL.

In my mind, Hulljack have built a team with way too many players serving the same purpose (and not that goal-scoring, game-winning purpose) and put all their faith in a goalie who may not have been the best decision for the job.

If I knew last year at this time that Jeffy, Haggy, Smitty, Mittens, and Jussi would be gone and replaced with Brad Richards and Sean Avery… well I probably wouldn’t have been so excited on the phone with everyone.

Amy

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It’s hockey time again tonight!

The Stars are coming off a great victory last night, but you know they’re going to have to be pretty tired after flying into St. Louis after their 6-4 victory over Nashville yesterday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marty get the start tonight since he didn’t play so well last night and back-to-back games are usually the best time to let the backup see some ice time.

St. Louis has started the season significantly better than last year. Their power play is right at 50%, so hopefully the Stars won’t take a lot of penalties. I think the Stars penalty kill is going to take some time to gel with the absences of Stu and Jeffy playing center on the PK and Hagman with all of his shorties last year. Hopefully the goon of the night yesterday (Brenden) can keep himself out of the box.

For all you Otter loving fans, as of this morning, his start is still questionable. Apparently he did make the trip to St. Louis though, so that ups his chances of playing tonight. I don’t know who they will take out if Ott does play tonight though. Brunnstrom certainly won’t be the healthy scratch. I can hope that it’ll be Avery, but it’s probably more likely to be Barch.

My pick to score last night didn’t work out, but tonight I’m trying again and going with Mike Ribeiro. He hasn’t looked so great this season, and I think a goal tonight would really help him out.

And I don’t think Brunnstrom will be getting another hat trick tonight. I just hope he consistently gets points for us. As long as he’s a consistent producer, he’ll live up to his hype for me 🙂

Amy

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I Miss Stu(uuuu)

I’m pretty sad about Stu retiring. He became one of my favorite players as soon as he came over from Buffalo. I can’t remember how many times we traded for a player who did really well AGAINST us and then failed miserably for us (Turgeon, Young, etc). Stu was definitely not one of those players. He more than made up for scoring the tying goal in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals that forced the Stars to win it in 4 overtimes.

Last season, I said several times that Stu looked slow and he needed to call it quits after the season. Then he managed to find another gear in the playoffs. I wonder how we would have done if he hadn’t gotten the concussion. After his performance in the playoffs, I wished that he would sign for another season. I didn’t get to see him in a playoff game this year and I really hoped that the game I saw in March wouldn’t be the last time I’d see him.

Stu was one of the guys who came out at all 3 practices that I’ve been to. He was nice and ALWAYS smiled for the camera.

This is the first time Sarah and I met Stu (in 2003). His black eye is still the coolest one I’ve ever seen!

Stu Christmas Break 2006

March 2008, after the last game we got to see Stu play in.

I am so glad he’ll be staying with the Stars. I’m just going to miss seeing him out on the ice.

Amy

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Hockey season is finally getting closer, so we’re starting to get some interesting hockey news (not those ridiculous “summer” updates no one cares to read).

First and foremost, Stu Barnes announced his retirement today. I’m sad that Stu won’t be on the ice for us this year, but I am glad he decided to stay with the team. He has a had a great career and the Stars site put together a really nice video of his career. Because of him, I was able to have one of my greatest Stars fan moments ever. I was in Buffalo for a Sabres/Flyers game a couple days after Stu was traded to the Stars. I walked in one of their fan stores, walked directly up to the lady behind the counter, and asked her if the Stu Barnes jerseys were on sale. Now Buffalo being Buffalo, she didn’t even respond… but I know I got my message across!

Stu was always great with us too. He even waved at us during development camp when we put our Stu sign up 🙂

The Stars IceBreaker is on September 13th this year. I haven’t been able to attend one of these before, but they look like a ton of fun.

Brenden Morrow is still amazing. I watched the shortened version of Game 6 against San Jose last night, and Brenden never fails to amaze me.

Amy

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The Stars need to win. If they come out and play like they did Thursday, then this is going to be a short series. I know they have the ability to play the Wings competetively and make this series interesting.

Just as in the first two series, we need to stay out of the box in the first period. Some of those calls in Game 1 were pretty suspicious, but the Stars have to play through that. If the refs are going to call dumb penalties on them, they need to figure out how to get the PK going and play through it.

Marty needs to be better. I know he played well on Thursday, and the goals came from screens, odd-man rushes, etc but he needs to be amazing. He’s going to have to take his game to a different level for us to have a chance at winning this series.

Stu is still out tonight. I’m really worried about that “concussion” of his. I know that if he felt “moderately alive” (stole that from my dad) then he’d be playing in the series because we need him on the penalty kill and the line with Modano and Ott. Hopefully he will return in Game 3 or 4 in Dallas.

With all that being said, I think we still have a real shot at this series. BELIEVE!

Amy

On a side note, it got up to 100 degrees here today!

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How come I never pick the good games to do a live blog for? I remember wanting to hurt myself while blogging for the Kings game last weekend.

We look good with 3 minutes left in the 2nd. Up 5-1 with goals from Robi, Barnes, Brenden, and a pair from Eriksson. Marty is playing well (I think the Kings have about 7 shots) but I would have liked to see Holmqvist get the start this afternoon.

Folks, we have a 3rd period goal! Lehtinen scores on a gorgeous breakaway. Now hopefully we can keep up a 5 goal lead.

Do the Kings not have fans? I know it’s near the end of the season and they have no hopes of making the playoffs… but there’s no one there.

Amy

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Here you are guys. The pictures are all after the jump since there are a lot of them. All of them are now up. I noticed we got several views before they were all up, so go look again 🙂 I got stuck uploading pictures while I was reading about Piaget’s stages of development for the millionth time, helping my roommate find a bank, and eating dinner… but they’re all good now.

Practice was great. It was really good to see Boo skating again. Plus Steve Ott really liked his sign 🙂 I just wish Hagman and Brenden had come out… I wanted my hugs! (more…)

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