• Stars' newly acquired prospects proving their worth

    Dallas Stars fans are quickly forgetting about those seemingly disappointing trades they made last week. Initially, there was a widespread outcry against General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk's decision to send off the team's leading scorer and assist man. But only initially – over the last few games since the trades, Stars fans have learned to embrace the rebuilding attitude, and have even discovered that these "prospects" are better than advertised.

    It can even be argued that the Stars got the better end of the deal in both the Brenden Morrow and Jaromir Jagr trades with Pittsburgh and Boston. So far they have reaped the rewards of their returns in both deals. In his first game with the Texas Stars, Dallas' minor league affiliate (and currently the best team in the AHL), 20-year-old defenseman Joe Morrow, who the team acquired along with a sixth-round draft pick from the Penguins in exchange for Brenden Morrow and a third-round draft pick, recorded two assists. He has the physical size and skating ability to be a top-flight blue liner in the NHL and he is projected to be playing for Dallas by next season. At 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds, Morrow could definitely put on some weight, but his height and length provide him with intimidating stick range and a bazooka slapshot. Stars fans are expecting great things him.

    Lane MacDermid was the other main prospect that Dallas got from Boston in return for legendary right winger Jaromir Jagr. This was a tough deal to pull the trigger on – if you are Dallas, you are giving up your top goal scorer and craftiest offensive creator who possesses a genius-level hockey IQ. A talented and physical skater, Jagr is still one of the league's best, even at 41, at reading where pucks will go and establishing angles on defensemen.

    If you are Boston on the other hand, you are sending off one of your top three prospects in MacDermid. At 23 years old, he is projected to be a top six forward, and a complete player who skates hard, completes his fore checks, can score and can also create off the pass. In hockey lingo, he is what is called a "blue-collar scorer," a player that really has no major weaknesses. In his first two games (both against the Anahiem Ducks) at left wing for Dallas, he recorded two goals.

    In the last few games since the Morrow and Jagr trade, I have noticed that the Stars are playing much harder consistently throughout a 60-minute game. They are aggressive on the puck both offensively and defensively, and are creating scoring chances with their hustle. This style of play has always been their own, but it was just difficult to do when a 41-year-old was the leading scorer and the longtime captain was clearly declining.

    Suddenly, the Dallas Stars are back in the playoff race, only four points out of the Top 8. Maybe these trades gave them the fresh legs they needed on the ice, and the heart that wasn't quite consistent enough.

  • The Derrick Rose school of teasing: Why the Bulls PG needs to come back... now

    Just days ago another image of Derrick Rose practicing emerged. Again.

    It’s been the same story for months, or lack thereof you could say. The return of Rose to the basketball court has long been overdue, and at this point the spectacle is getting rather frustrating to see.

    Rose was injured during game one of a 2012 playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers after landing awkwardly on his left knee. He had ACL surgery in May, and now, eleven months later, we are still waiting for hi.

    It wouldn’t be so frustrating as a fan to not see Rose if we weren’t teased daily by the media, and by sound bites of Rose himself making a return appear imminent.

    Mock videos and commercials have gone viral of Rose’s return, and a spoof of the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises even popped up.

    But Derrick, superheroes don’t stay down this long.

    I understand the hesitation, and I understand the concern in bringing your franchise player back too soon after a severe injury, but it isn’t just the fans in Chicago that are growing restless with Rose’s indecision on a return. And the NBA playoffs are only a few weeks away.

    And just for context’s sake, it’s been over a month since Rose was cleared to play.

    Rose was listed as day-to-day on March 5, and a month ago Rose was cleared to return to action on March 8.

    And yet, the only Rose we’ve seen are practice images, training images and your occasional promotional making a return seem imminent. The irony in this story, however, is no one really knows when he’ll be back.

    At this point it’s been made pretty clear that Rose’s return rests solely on his shoulders, and that decision is not going to come until he feels prepared mentally to come back. But with the Bulls playing solid basketball, firmly locked in the playoffs and an opportunity to throw off the Eastern Conference with a return, we still see no sign of Rose.

    At this point I’m honestly not certain what decision Rose will actually make. It would be logical to assume that Rose isn’t going to play this season. Actually nothing about this story particularly points to Rose coming back this season. But that’s the thing that doesn’t make any sense. Why all the media hoopla and false hope if you aren’t going to come back? Does Rose not realize the potential loss of credibility and weariness he may be creating with his fan base?

    Well Rose, as of now six games remain between the regular season and the playoffs, and hopefully after that time period a decision will be made.