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Sturm Blog: A Few Items...

Thursday, 03.4.2010 / 10:50 AM CT / Bob Sturm Blog
By Bob Sturm
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Sturm Blog: A Few Items...

Bob Sturm
A few items as the Stars ready for their final home game before maybe the stiffest road trip of the year....
1) - Speaking of the stiffest road trip of the year, I will be taking part in said trip, as our little Bob and Dan radio show makes our 5th annual road trip with the Stars to Pittsburgh, Washington, and Buffalo.  Whenever you are part of a team's traveling party you really, really want them to do well if for no other reason that a winning trip is always a happy trip - but this is an extremely difficult test of hockey against 3 of the finest teams on the East Coast.  In a playoff race where every single point is most crucial, this next week may tell us all we need to know about the Stars being playoff contenders or pretenders in 2010.  Strap it on.
2) - The deadline passed, and the Stars held true to their word earlier in the week and has decided to continue on with the team that they have.  We can certainly debate a number of aspects of that decision making process, but we weren't kidding when we said that Joe Nieuwendyk is a deliberate and careful GM before he does anything quick that he might regret.  He realizes that sometimes the lifespan of a GM is based on your portfolio of moves, and you certainly don't want to do anything that might require a do-over.
So, they keep Steve Ott and hand him that 4 year extension that he wanted.  This is good news to those of us who feared he was on his way out because of the natural order of things in pro sports.  A guy sees his mates get paid and puts in his hard work and stays quiet.  At some point he wants to feel loved or he looks elsewhere for that adoration in free agency.   This was close to happening here, but in the end it was clear that Steve Ott knew that this was the only organization he ever knew and that he didn't want to start over somewhere else over a few dollars.  The Stars wanted to keep him, but knowing that every dollar counts these days they had to do it at the right price.  Thankfully, a few days before the deadline (and that is no coincidence since an extension might be the only thing that kept him from being dealt) both sides found the right number and shook hands. 

Now, the Stars hope that Steve Ott keeps doing what made Steve Ott a rich man for the next 4 seasons.  I am very pleased that they didn't lose him as he continues the prime of his career.
Also, the Marty Turco story continues.  It is tough to write too much with conviction here, because the landscape changes all of the time.  Over the Olympic break, you wondered if he would be dealt. When they let Alex Auld leave, you wondered if they were considering an extension for Turco past this season.  Then the Kings game jumbled everything again.  I have no idea where this thing is headed, and as soon as I tell you I have it figured out, it will change anyway.  We do know this:  The Stars feel that Marty Turco is their #1 goalie in the spring of 2010.  In all important games, I imagine he will get the call.  So, let's see what the next chapter says.
3) - So where does that leave the debut of Kari Lehtonen?  Soon, very soon.  Not likely tonight.  Maybe Saturday.  Maybe Monday.  But, I think keep Turco means that they will be judicious with Lehtonen's starts and set him up for a successful 4 or 5 starts in the final 20 games. 
But as we know, things change.  What doesn't change is the need for results - tonight.


Email Bob at Sturm1310@aol.com and follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/bobanddan







1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47


J. Benn 54 28 33 16 61
T. Seguin 54 28 30 11 58
J. Klingberg 54 9 35 15 44
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 54 16 24 -1 40
A. Goligoski 54 4 20 17 24
C. Eakin 54 10 13 1 23
M. Janmark 54 10 10 13 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 51 6 13 7 19
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 14 5 0 .909 2.82
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