Gagnon has been the Stars' best player this game, and he got loose on the left wing and slipped a backhand past Dan Ellis to make it 2-1 at the 1:19 mark of the third period. Tomas Vincour and Brian Sutherby had the assists.
With Tom Wandell hurt, Gagnon definitely could make an impression on coaches in the preseason that he should be the first player called up from the minors in case of an injury.
CHARLOTTETOWN, September 20, 2010 - Following the very successful Dallas Stars' training camp in Charlottetown, PEI on the weekend, Murray Harbour's Brad Richards stopped in to visit the pediatric unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to make a donation of $500,000 to help children in his home province.
During the event, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation formally announced the establishment of a Brad Richards Named Endowment to help purchase medical equipment to help children.
"It is an exciting announcement for our Island hospital and, most importantly, the children and families the hospital serves," says Allan Morse Chair, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation.
This gift will be invested in perpetuity and the income earned each year will be directed toward medical equipment for children.
"It's a great day for Prince Edward Island. The kindness Brad Richards has shown today is incredible and his gift will have a tremendous impact on our hospital for many years to come," says Morse. "PEI is definitely a hockey province and we are extremely proud of Brad's many hockey accomplishments. For him to make a gift where he got his first start in his career means so much."
Richard's gift was made in honour of his cousin and best friend, Jamie Reynolds, who passed away in 1989 with a brain tumour when he was 7 and Brad was almost 9 years old. On hand for the emotional announcement were members of the Richards and Reynolds family along with many of the pediatric nurses who cared for Jamie.
Brad Richards had been waiting a long time to properly honour his cousin Jamie in his home province. When it was announced the Dallas Stars was coming to PEI, Richards knew the timing was perfect. He decided he would announce his gift to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's pediatric department.
"I chose the hospital because I knew it was the charity that would have the largest impact on the most Island children," says Richards. "I had a great childhood playing hockey in rinks throughout the Island, so this is a small 'thank you' to all Island families."
"It's been nice having my family here today to celebrate with me," concludes Richards. "I really enjoyed going into the Pediatric Department to meet some of the kids in hospital. Next time I'm back on the Island, I will definitely be stopping by to the hospital for a visit to the children's wing and will talk more with the pediatric nurses who remember Jamie when he was a patient there. This has been a great visit to PEI."
A highlight of the weekend was Brad purchasing tickets for the Dallas Stars intra-squad game for Island families with children who were cared for at the hospital so they could attend the game. Following the game, the children had the unique opportunity to personally meet Brad and get his autograph and a photo with him.
About the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Foundation
The QEH Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization whose purpose is to raise funds solely for the medical equipment needs of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised more than $38 million through personal donations, special events, mail campaigns, memorial donations and planned gifts. These funds help the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the main referral hospital for Prince Edward Island purchase medical equipment to provide the finest care available to you and your loved ones.
About the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Pediatric Department
The QEH is the provincial pediatric referral centre for PEI and they have a dedicated staff of pediatricians, pediatric nurses and other health care professionals who provide care for children. The QEH pediatricians, like many other hospitals, help diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses such as asthma and diabetes and provide orthopedic and other day surgery services. The centre also offers outpatient services including CT scans, hearing testing, nuclear medicine tests, growth hormone tests and allergy tests to name a few. At any given time, between 1 and 5 children can be undergoing cancer care at the QEH. Specialty clinics are also held for out-of-province medical specialists to come to the QEH for diagnosis and follow-up on illnesses such as orthopedics, cardiology, neurology and CH Chest. This is a great convenience for families because it reduces the need for out of province travel, time taken from work and disruption to other family members.
Stars coach Marc Crawford said after the team's final practice on Prince Edward Island that Tom Wandell only has a slight shoulder sprain and that Wandell might be able to get back to playing next week. That could leave him three pre-season games to get ready for the regular season.
The Stars return back home today after three days or workouts in Charlottetown and will play the Tampa Bay Lightning at American Airlines Center in the pre-season opener at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Brent Krahn and Andrew Raycroft are expected to split time in goal, and Crawford said he would have a 50-50 split of veterans and prospects in the game. He said that he expects to play the line of Brenden Morrow-Mike Ribeiro-Jonathan Cheechoo in the first game.
Crawford also said he would like to give Kari Lehtonen three full pre-season games in goal.
Tom Wandell suffered a shoulder sprain when he was hit by Mark Fistric in the Stars' scrimmage today.
He will be evaluated today and the Stars should know more on Monday, but the early indications are a couple of week, coach Marc Crawford said.
The Black Team won the scrimmage, 5-3, today on Prince Edward Island. The team used penalty shots to decide penalties and James Neal had the game-winner, breaking a 3-3 tie when he scored on a penalty shot against Brent Krahn.
Crawford said Mike Ribeiro was the best player in the scrimmage, as he helped Brenden Morrow score two goals.
The coach said he also thought Kari Lehtonen was great early in the scrimmage as he was under heavy fire. Crawford also pointed out that Trevor Daley had a good scrimmage and that the line of Fabian Brunnstrom-Jamie Benn-Steve Ott was also impressive.
``We moved Bruno to the left side and Otter to the right side, and that really seemed to work for us,'' Crawford said. ``I like Otter with Benn, I really do.''
The Stars made a point of giving Willie Desjardins the title of ``associate coach'' when they hired him in the summer, in part because Desjardins was a coveted commodity on the free agent coaching market and Dallas had to woo him with a title like that, and in part because they do like the idea of bringing in a top-level voice to work with head coach Marc Crawford.
That said, Crawford still will run the bench in a similar manner to what he did last season. Desjardins will team with assistant coach Charlie Huddy to run the defense and penalty kill, but Crawford still will select all players, including the defensemen, when he's matching lines during a game. Assistant coach Stu Barnes will watch the first period from the pressbox, and then will come down to the bench for the second and third periods. Last season, Barnes and former assistant coach Andy Moog alternated between time in the pressbox and time on the bench.
Dallas has gone with four coaches on the bench at varying times over the past three or four seasons, as Ulf Dahlen also used to alternate between time in the press box and time on the bench with Dave Tippett's coaching staff.
When asked if he thought four guys on the bench could be too many, Crawford said: ``I think there are a lot of teams doing it. I think there is a lot of value to a guy watching the game from upstairs and then bringing that knowledge to the bench. He gets to see things from up top, he gets a feel for what is happening, and then he gets the perspective of how can a player use that in a game. I think it's an ideal situation. We also have video guys who will be feeding information to Stu and Willie when they both are on the bench.''
Barnes will also be given the job of faceoff guru. He will work not just on centers being better in winning actual draws, but an entire team concept that leads to a better faceoff winning percentage. Dallas ranked 26th out of 30 teams in faceoff winning percentage at 48.1 percent last season.
``It's not just the centermen, it's team play and attitude, it's knowing where everyone is,'' Crawford said. ``We should be better than we are and we're going to get better. A lot of it is experience for the centerman, and there are just some who are better than others, but I do believe you can get better with work and attention to detail. I think there is focus that you need as a centerman and there is focus you need as a teammate. That has to become a priority.''
Desjardins will work slowly into running a unit. He will help with the defense, he will work with Huddy on running the penalty kill, and he will be a big idea guy. He has experience as a head coach, but all of it is at the lower level, so this is a big step up to the NHL. He is expected to take some time to get to know the NHL personnel. In the mean time, he will have a big hand in designing the penalty kill.
``We've worked hard on the PK. We worked hard on the areas where we wanted to improve,'' Crawford said. ``We've talked a lot about we wanted to be a harder team to play against, so how are we going to do that? That's an area where we really can play with a little more pressure and aggressiveness.''
Desjardins also is expected to be a big voice in team meetings, in planning and in helping to run practices.
``For me, I like the idea of having someone who has been a head coach and really thinks like a head coach, because I think that's something that I can relate to,'' Crawford said. ``We have great insight from Stu and Charlie from a playing background, but what they don't have is that understanding of being a guy who has to look big picture and has to make those decisions. Willie has been a head coach. He has a lot of experience with looking at a team in that way.''
Crawford added that the discussion have been good so far. He said it reminds him of the days when he and assistants Jacques Martin and Joel Quenneville would get into debates while coaching the Colorado Avalanche.
``I think our chemistry has been really good. Willie has fostered a lot more discussion, and that is something that we definitely would be one of the great byproducts of his hiring,'' Crawford said. ``He's an idea guy, and I think idea guys get the conversations started, and that's something that is very healthy for a coaching staff. I think it's actually good if you don't agree all of the time, because I think the process of talking things out can lead to even more ideas and more creativity.''
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.