I was out in Frisco this morning for physicals and it appears everyone passed and got on the plane for Prince Edward Island. The Stars/Rangers team plane is in Seattle with the Rangers, so I believe they took the Mavericks team plane.
One of the most interesting things was talking to Mike Ribeiro about his off-season. Ribeiro said he ended last season at 165 pounds and weighed in today at 177 pounds. That doesn't seem like a huge gain, but it's probably the biggest gain in percentage of body weight of anybody on the team. Ribeiro did a lot of weight work with free weights and sleds, and built his upper body and leg strength. I joked that I'm not sure how it helps his style of game, and he said he knew exactly what I was talking about.
``You know, it's a good point, really, because a lot of what I do isn't so much speed or strength, It's not like I do 100 stops and starts a game,'' he said. ``But I do feel better and I do feel like I'm just sharper. I think when you work this hard, it helps you keep plugged in and intense. I feel better mentally, I feel like I'm more prepared.''
And that is a huge part of Ribeiro's game. He said that he allowed frustration to get the better of him last season and that he had a talk with Joe Nieuwendyk and Marc Crawford recently and that helped clear the air.
``It was a great to talk things out and just understand everything,'' Ribeiro said. ``I still have to prove to them that I'm here for the team and I have to prove that I can remain positive. A lot of times last year, I got my head down and let things frustrate me, and I can't let that happen. It was hard for us, because me and Brenden (Morrow) struggled and didn't maybe get used the way we were, and maybe I didn't fit as well. But Joe has been here a year and Crow has been here a year and I think we all know each other better now. I think we have a lot better attitude and a very hungry attitude. I think this is a very hungry team.''
``I think we all have to move past last year,'' Crawford said. ``It was a learning year for everybody. You have to find a compromise with players like that. The compromise is that your structure has to be there, but also that we have to know what his strengths are and we have to let him spread his wings and do what he can do best. He has to come to our way of thinking in a couple of areas, but you're always trying experiment and find ways to do it better _ and that's all sides.''
As for PEI, the Stars will be at the CARI Complex on the campus of the University of PEI from 9-10 a.m. (these are all Atlantic time zone) for practice Saturday morning and will hold an informal scrimmage from 10-11 a.m. That is open to the public and free.
They will then have a full team scrimmage at the Charlottetown Civic Centre at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $20 and you probably need to buy them in advance.
They will then head back to the CARI Complex on Monday and will again hold practice from 9-10 a.m. with a scrimmage from 10-11 a.m. Again, that one is open to the public and free.
They will then fly back to Dallas Monday afternoon and will play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first preseason game Tuesday, Sept. 21 at American Airlines Center. After that, they will hold most of their workouts in Frisco at the Dr Pepper StarCenter, and those are open to the public.