Pete DeBoer opens training camp by splitting last season’s top line
CEDAR PARK — Jason Robertson’s absence from Stars training camp was just one reason new Stars coach Pete DeBoer parted ways with the top line last season.
The other? Because he wants to experiment in pre-season.
On Thursday, Tyler Seguin centered a line with Joe Pavelski on his right wing and Jacob Peterson on his left. Roope Hintz, meanwhile, was flanked by Denis Gurianov and new acquisition Mason Marchment.
Robertson is not in training camp as he remains unsigned three weeks before opening night.
“It looks like a big, hard, fast line to play against,” DeBoer said of the Marchment-Hintz-Gurianov line. “Who knows? This is the time when you can really experiment with different things because you’re at this stage of the season. As the season progresses, it’s harder to just throw stuff against the wall and to hope that something sticks.
Even if Robertson was at camp, the highly successful line of Robertson, Hintz, and Pavelski would likely have split. Robertson was supposed to be in Group A on Thursday, which likely would have put him on a line with Seguin and Pavelski.
I was here before: The last Stars player to miss regular season games due to a contract dispute was current captain Jamie Benn, who missed five games in 2013 during negotiations for his second contract.
Should the negotiations continue to drag on, Robertson would see the same fate.
“It’s a tricky situation,” Benn said. “It’s hard to miss the camp. Being around guys, I think that’s what you miss the most in a time like this. Boot camp days are fun, they’re tough, and you find yourself sitting at home, which sucks. I have every belief in the world that Jim and our guys will do something fast.
Always in shape : For the second straight season, forward Luke Glendening was the fittest man on the roster, as determined by the team’s fitness test, DeBoer said.
“What a testament to a 33-year-old, 10-year-old professional who was never drafted, a great role model for everyone in this locker room trying to carve out a career,” DeBoer said.
Glendening is entering the second year of his two-year contract worth $1.5 million a year. He is healthy after missing the end of the playoffs with a knee injury.
Quick cuts? Since this is DeBoer’s first camp with the Stars, the team may consider making cuts earlier than usual to give the NHL squad more time to gel. DeBoer said the team may practice more frequently with special teams when there are 25 to 30 players left in camp, which could happen as early as next week.
Here are the lines and pairings on Thursday
Mason Marchment – Roope Hintz – Denis Gurianov
Jacob Peterson – Tyler Seguin – Joe Pavelski
Jamie Benn – Radek Faksa – Wyatt Johnston
Matej Blumel – Mavrik Bourque – Luke Glendening
Joel Kiviranta – Ty Dellandrea – Logan Stankoven
Fredrik Karlström – Riley Damiani – Fredrik Olofsson
Riley Tufte – Oskar Back – Marian Studenic
Antonio Stranges – Tanner Kero – Curtis McKenzie
Conner Roulette – Rhett Gardner – Riley Barber
Francesco Arcuri – Logan Morrison – Justin Ertel
Jordan Kawaguchi – Alex Petrovic – Matthew Seminoff
Ryan Suter – Miro Heiskanen
Esa Lindell – Colin Miller
Thomas Harley – Jani Hakanpaa
Joel Hanley – Ben Gleason
Ryan SheaJoseph Cecconi
Michael Karow – Will Butcher
Jacob Holmes – Jerad Rosburg
Jacob Murray – Dawson Barteaux
Artem Grushnikov – Christian Kyrou
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