Checked in with Stars coach Marc Crawford today and asked about right wing Jonathan Cheechoo, who will attend the team’s training camp on a tryout basis.
“We’re hopeful that he finds lightning in a bottle and that he finds some instant chemistry with who we are going to play him with in training camp,” Crawford said. “We can give him a pretty good center to play with and he’s a scorer, so initially we are going to try him with [Mike] Ribeiro and [Brenden] Morrow.”
Crawford said with Cheechoo on the right wing of that line, Jamie Benn will start camp at center and will be paired with Steve Ott. Benn is one of the options to play with Morrow and Ribeiro, but for now he’ll get the look at center. The plan is also to see if Tom Wandell and Adam Burish work together as a pair on a line. Players will be be slotted in on open spots with those pairs. If James Neal isn’t around to start camp, then someone will need to be slotted in on the left side of Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson.
Nothing is set in stone long-term, but that’s how they’ll start. It will be a work in progress. That's why they have camp and a preseason. I’ll have more on the line stuff in a future post.
Brent Krahn was the latest player to join the morning skates in Frisco today. Krahn said he made the 33-hour drive from Calgary and arrived yesterday. The final leg of that drive included picking his way through yesterday’s stormy weather in the region.
“Driving down from Oklahoma City yesterday, it was just atrocious,” Krahn said.
Krahn and Andrew Raycroft – the two guys who will battle for the backup goalie spot in camp and the preseason – were the goaltenders for today’s skate.
“I’m anxious to get going,” said Krahn. “I’m looking forward to the challenge. The challenge is great. All you can ask for is the competition and the opportunity. That’s exactly what I have and I’m ready to get at it.”
Did an interview with Brad Richards today about his home province of Prince Edward Island, where the Stars will hold training camp starting next week. I’ll have more on camp in PEI next week.
I asked him about his hip, which he had surgery on during the offseason. He said everything is fine on that front and he’s good to go. I asked if there’s been any talks about a contract extension with the Stars.
“Nothing really,” Richards said. “Just little conversations, but nothing to speak of really."
Richards, whose contract runs out at the end of the 2010-11 season, noted that the Stars have been trying to to sign other players who needed contracts for this season.
Here's some video of today's skate in Frisco.