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Friday Funbag: A look into the RSN crystal ball
Thanks for bearing with me this week.
First let me start with an apology.
We had a slow week here at Shap Shots, there were some non-work things that piled on a personal front that piled up and time got a bit crazy. Add in the fact that the NHL team nearby, the Detroit Red Wings, is over in Sweden, and it turned into a perfect storm here.
Thanks for bearing with me, and thanks for understanding. The substack space has been a blast, but it comes with challenges of being a one-man shop. So again, I apologize and thank you for supporting this site.
We will be back on schedule next week. Even with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, we’ll be back up and running and delivering.
In the meantime, I owe the readers some content and what better way to get back into the natural flow than by tackling your direct questions.
Bill Hayes Hey Sean - hope all is going better; hang in there! Wondering why there was no supplemental discipline for the hit on Harley? It looked bad from my biased viewpoint. Interested in your opinion.
Here is the hit Bill is talking about.
From my personal view, I think it would have been worth at least a review for supplemental discipline.
One of the flaws with NHL player safety (and there are several) is they often look at time of the game for supplemental reasons. With this being in the second period, and the fact the Stars killed Minnesota on the power play, you can tell the NHL thought the in-game ejection was enough.
I disagree, and think it probably should have been an additional game.
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Aaron Lee Couple options for you. First: No Berggren, Edvinsson, etc in Sweden. Do you imagine this creates some team / league tension, or is a pressure point at all? Have to imagine the league planned to lean into the Swedish Wings, but was left with only 1 guy on the roster. Not that Yzerman would manipulate the roster to benefit league PR, but seems like a huge miss for fans and the league. Second question: Cossa pulse check. How we feeling so far? 3.01 GAA, 903 SV%, is he progressing in a positive way?
You are right on the fact that Steve Yzerman was never going to pick his roster for Sweden to fill marketing requirements.
I also don’t think there’s any tension between the league and the Red Wings on this. The event is still a hit in Sweden, no matter the teams, and having Simon Edvinsson play wasn’t going to change the success of it one way or the other.
I do think the Red Wings could have stolen a page from the Ottawa Senators book and had one of their Swedish former players/employees on the bench for a game like Ottawa did with Daniel Alfredsson.
On the Sebastian Cossa front, I believe he has taken a step forward this season. He seems more composed and he’s also fixed up some issues with shot to the high-glove.
Courtesy of our friends at InStat, here is the breakdown of save percentage by location for Cossa this season in the AHL.
On the flip side, this is his save percentage by location in his three AHL games last season.
Smaller sample size, certainly, but a strong indication of how much he’s progressed.
Corey Dudley Hi Sean! With news that the MLB/Rangers and NBA/Mavericks are getting their TV rights back from Bally Sports / DSG upon completion of their 2024 seasons, where does that leave the Stars (you can include the Red Wings since they’re a Ballys/DSG partner as well)
This is one of the most fascinating parts on sports business right now.
As you noted, there’s been movement this week on MLB and NBA teams getting rights back from Bally and gaining control of their RSN futures in 2024. The NHL is likely going down a similar route, and as one source told me, “watch what is happening with the NBA.”
The Stars and Red Wings, I believe, will each have a slightly different approach to this moving forward.
The Red Wings are under the same umbrella as the Detroit Tigers, Illitch Sports, and that profile alone has enough content to launch a year-round sports network that would be home to Tigers, Red Wings, and maybe even Pistons if they worked out a deal.
Essentially Detroit can take it’s current setup/talent/etc… and move it under a new umbrella it owns completely.
In Dallas, it’s going to take a slightly more creative solution and will probably have to follow something similar to what the Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes did with Scripps sports.
Looking into a crystal ball, the Stars will look for an find a partner to handle in-market television, potentially over-the-air, and then retain digital rights to run their own streaming service.
Mike Roach Love the fit of Matt Duchene so far. I know the Stars have a difficult cap to navigate but if the cap goes up is there any way they can extend him past this year?
They can, but there are some other things outside of Duchene’s control that have to be settled first.
The first question is whether Joe Pavelski is part of the Stars next season. It might come down to a choice between Pavelski and Matt Duchene, since both will be UFAs on July 1 and will command similar salaries.
The other key question is how high are the Stars planning on going next season on the RFA deals with Thomas Harley and Nils Lundkvist. Are they bridging? Going longer-term?
Whatever the Stars are internally planning with cap structure will impact that.
The best solution to all of this, however, might be finally finding a trade partner for Radek Faksa. Faksa would be easier to move in the offseason, so maybe that’s when Dallas finds a taker for the final year of $3.25 million contract.
JERRY GANTT How much money are the Stars , Sabres, Hurricanes and Kings saving by doing simulcasts instead of separate TV and radio production?
I don’t know about the exact finances of each of those teams, but I do know the Stars are saving a ton of money on broadcast talent by doing a simulcast.
Daryl Reaugh is one of the highest paid hockey broadcasters and he has more control/influence in an organization than any broadcaster in the league. He’s part of the marketing and honestly, in many cases, the Stars have made him more famous than some of their players.
One of the driving factors for the Stars radio deal with the Ticket is that Reaugh is involved. Honestly, if it were a different team for radio, I’m not sure the Ticket would be interested in the Stars deal — it also should be noted, most NHL teams have to pay the radio station to be on air.
So the Stars even when paying Reaugh well, and only having one play-by-play voice, save money on salaries for on-air talent while they also save money on other residual travel costs.
Angie I love that the Stars have production from lines 2 and 3, but the top line is having a collectively slow start. Do you think Robertson is overthinking his shots? He seems to not want to shoot as much this season.
He had three power play points the other night against the Minnesota Wild, but I think the Stars do need more versatility from how Jason Robertson looks at his game right now.
I think he’s over-passing, over-adjusting to what he thinks defenders will do against him, when he should go back to firing the puck more often — especially on the power play.
Jason Given the Stars next three games and the big test the team faces, how do you think they will fare? Also, and far more importantly, in honor of the Rangers' World Series win a few weeks ago, what is your favorite Creed song?
I bet they go 1-1-1 and give us some exciting discourse to discuss about the team heading into Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, and I know this will disappoint people, I don’t have a favorite Creed song. The song I think I’ve heard the most is Higher.
D. Y. Somebody, somewhere is suggesting a trade involving Borque for a D man. Do you believe that the team is not ready for Bischel?
I think the Stars trading Mavrik Bourque for a defenseman would be a mistake. I also think Lian Bichsel is close to NHL ready.