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Ralph’s PEI Diary Day 2

“This is a pretty big deal…”

Saturday, 09.18.2010 / 3:10 PM / News
By Ralph Strangis
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Ralph\u2019s PEI Diary Day 2

Follow Ralph on Twitter (@RalphStrangis) for more insight and photos during the Stars trip to PEI.

Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk was navigating the hundreds of bodies in the lobby of the Cari Complex/McLaughlin Arena on the University of PEI campus on his way to his seat with the scouts and other hockey people this morning when he was stopped by young man.

“Mr. Nieuwendyk… can I have your autograph.”

“Of course” said the Stars GM, who was signing about the 10th of what would be several dozen autographs that morning.  As he was signing the photograph, the young man, maybe in his late teens said, “Can I ask you a question?”

Joe, who is always so obliging said “sure”.

“How come you didn’t draft Fowler or Gormley instead of Campbell in the first round?”

I would venture to guess that pretty much no media member in Dallas (including me by the way) would have asked him that question.  But that’s what happens when you come to a place like Charlottetown, PEI.

The city began working on bringing an NHL team here for training camp a few years back.  They tried it with Tampa Bay, using the Brad Richards connection, but couldn’t get the Lightning to bite.  A few years later here are the Dallas Stars.  In speaking with delegates from both sides it is quite clear that Charlottetown wanted the Stars, and the Stars really wanted to be here.

Amanda Hamel’s day job is that of Communication’s Officer in the provinces Health Department, but she freelances and lends her charm and skill to help with projects like this.  PEI and its townships have hosted some big events, and have stars of every kind come through here (currently George Wendt is appearing in “Hairspray” in the Charlottetown theater) but this – according to Amanda – is a “pretty big flippin’ deal”.

It is mutually beneficial.  The Stars gain a wonderful team-building experience in a hockey-mad town, and the cities benefits are multi-faceted.  Of course they gain some cache – not a lot of Canadian cities can claim “home to an NHL team’s training camp” – they gain the business that we bring – and the fun of having NHL Stars walking down their streets.  But more importantly, according to Amanda – “our children get to get so close to guys they’ve only seen on TV and see that it is possible that if Brad Richards or other guys from small towns can make it – so can they.”  She adds; “and even if they don’t make the NHL, this will give them all a jump start to work harder at whatever they’re doing”.

The Dallas Stars and the City are also partnering on some significant charity projects, with special announcements coming over the next couple of days.

They have been such wonderful hosts – and the trip so far has gone off without a hitch.  Tonight, we’re going to the Murphy Community Center (think Church basement) for a big group dinner with some of the local organizers and citizens, who will sit side by side with NHL players and guys like me.  I just hope I don’t get any questions about the draft…


Split squad scrimmage – but the four big lines were –
18-91-21 (the Stars top line from last year immediately put together on day one this year)
10-63-27 (Jonathan Cheechoo on a tryout gets to get looked at with Ribs and Brenden – nothing much to notice other than Ribiero looked fast – he’s in great shape)
29-14-96 – (Benn starts in the middle but don’t be surprised if he gets moved to a wing)
20-23-16 – (Burrish with Wandell and Sutherby – a little something for everybody)

Defense – no real continuity from a season ago (yet) – they had them balanced on both sides.  Guy to watch is Severin Blindenbacher, 27 year old Swiss born free agent.  Played in Sweden (Farjestads) last season.  We have a very good scout in Sweden (Rickard Oquist) who found him.  They had him with Skrastins today – Blindenbacher is good puck moving defenseman – and is getting his feet wet.  Probably won’t crack NHL squad yet – but he’s a guy to keep an eye on.

Kari looks big and is moving well in the net.  Krahn has earned the right to compete for the backup job, and Raycroft is the guy who will be battling him for that chance.





1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 48 30 16 2 151 112 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 48 21 15 12 133 129 54
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33


T. Seguin 47 28 25 2 53
J. Benn 47 14 28 -2 42
J. Spezza 47 8 27 -4 35
E. Cole 44 12 11 3 23
A. Goligoski 47 1 22 6 23
A. Roussel 47 11 11 -3 22
T. Daley 44 11 10 -9 21
C. Eakin 44 9 12 5 21
A. Hemsky 44 7 11 -6 18
J. Klingberg 33 6 12 8 18
K. Lehtonen 19 11 7 .903 2.99
A. Lindback 2 7 0 .875 3.79
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