Dallas Stars: Eric Nystrom

Eric Nystrom day-to-day with cut on leg

March, 26, 2012
Dallas Stars forward Eric Nystrom is day-to-day after getting cut on his leg in Monday night's 5-4 loss at Calgary.

Nystrom was injured four minutes into the game when Flames defenseman Mark Giordano shoved him into the Calgary net and the skate of Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff appeared to catch Nystrom on the back of the leg.

Stars coach Glen Gulutzan had little to say about the injury in his postgame talk with the media.

"He got a cut on his leg, so he'll be a day-to-day guy," Gulutzan said.
The NHL won't take any disciplinary action against Dallas Stars forward Eric Nystrom for his hit on Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang in Wednesday night's game at American Airlines Center, according Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk.

Nystrom was given a roughing penalty for the hit, which happened as Letang was trying to chip a puck past the Stars forward in the Pittsburgh zone midway through the first period. Letang left the game and did not return. He was listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury by Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma following the game.

Thursday tidbits: Eric Nystrom debate

March, 1, 2012
During the postgame show on NBC Sports Network, Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick got into a heated debate about Eric Nystrom's hit on Kris Letang in last night's game against Pittsburgh. It's pretty good stuff and you can watch it here.

Here's a link to some photos of last night's Stars-Penguins game. You can see all the photos by Shannon Byrne here.

Nystrom hit knocks Letang out of game

February, 29, 2012
DALLAS -- Stars forward Eric Nystrom found himself in the middle of some controversy Wednesday night after he knocked Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang out of the game with a hard hit.

The play happened midway through the first period. As Letang tried to chip a puck past a hard charging Nystrom in the Pittsburgh zone, he reached out and Nystrom hit him hard (video is below). Letang went down to the ice for a few minutes and several of his teammates went after Nystrom.

“I’m coming in on the forecheck, I am going in to play the man and he is reaching in for the puck. I didn’t even touch his head, I hit him shoulder-to-shoulder,” Nystrom said of the hit. “I had four minor penalties coming into this game, I am not a headhunter.”

Nystrom was given a roughing minor for the hit.

“At the speed of the game, the ref just has to make a call there,” Nystrom said. “He saw the guy reach at the last second and I can’t stop there. I kept my arms down and I didn’t even make contact with his head. I never want to see a guy get hurt.”

Letang left the game and did not return.

“Kris Letang is upper body and day-to-day at this point,” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. “It’s a hit along the boards, reaching for the puck. I have not seen the replay on it. I know 24 traveled the distance to go into make the hit.”

Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said he thinks it will eventually be ruled a clean hit.

“He was reaching a little bit. Nys was committed to the hit and he saw him coming,” Gulutzan said. “I don’t think the head was the principle point of contact, so I think it’s going to be a clean hit but that’s for the league to decide. I just hope Letang is all right.”

Eric Nystrom proving to be good fit with Stars

November, 2, 2011
FRISCO --The Dallas Stars traded for Eric Nystrom to help solve a salary cap issue. But they also brought him into add something to the roster, and he’s done that since joining the team.

“He plays high energy and high octane. He gets in your face and he finishes his checks,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “He gives us some speed, some strength on the wing, another penalty killer. He’s a guy that can play center, so he has versatility. He’s been a welcome addition for us.”

Nystrom has played six games for the Stars, picking up one goal and averaging 11:33 of ice time. He started off on the Stars’ fourth line and now he’s playing left wing on the third line with center Vernon Fiddler and right wing Radek Dvorak.

“It’s been a good adjustment,” Nystrom said. “When I got here, the coaching staff made sure that I watched a lot of video and we went over the way the team plays and I just try to apply that on the ice. Playing with Fidds and Devo the past few games has been a real easy transition. We’re all on the same page and they’re easy guys to read off of, and this team is doing well because we’re all on the same page, so it’s been easy to step in.”

That third line has produced two goals over the last two games. There was Nystrom’s goal, set up by Fiddler, last Thursday that tied the game 3-3 before the Stars eventually fell 5-3 to Los Angeles. And then Saturday, as Nystrom was driving the net, Fiddler’s centering pass bounced off traffic and into the net, giving the Stars a 2-1 lead over New Jersey. That goal held up as the game-winner in a 3-1 victory.

“I think we’re getting better and better every game,” Fiddler said. “I still don’t think we’ve played our best, but we’re a line that has to create more than we give up. We still got a little ways to go, but I think we’re getting better, we’re getting zonetime, getting a little more action in their end, and that’s what we have to do.”

Fiddler said Nystrom has been a good fit on the line, especially since he is a left shot.

“(Adam) Burish was on our line and he’s a right shot trying to play the left wing, it’s not the easiest thing to do,” Fiddler said. “He’s the same kind of player as us, but he was not playing his position, so bringing in a left-handed shot, it gives us a little more flow coming out of the zone. Nystrom’s a lot like me and Dvorak, he just plays hard, he tries to keep it simple, he’s reliable and not a liability out there. It’s been nice to play with him, he’s good in the zone and he makes some nice plays along the wall. It’s been good.”

The Stars acquired Nystrom from Minnesota on October 12 after they fell below the lower limit of the salary cap due to the New York Rangers sending Sean Avery to the AHL. Half of Avery’s $3.875 million cap hit was still on the Stars’ books.

“Obviously, coming from the situation I was in, I was so happy to get an opportunity and a new breath of fresh air on another team. I was excited,” Nystrom said. “In Minnesota they had a different plan, they were going with younger guys and it looked like they were trying to just shed some salary and I come to a team that needed it. I’ve never doubted the way I can play. I’ve been given an opportunity early here and it’s gone well, but it’s just been a few games, so I want to keep doing the right things and helping the team.”

In an interesting twist, the Rangers reversed course on Avery this week and brought him back to New York. It has no impact on Nystrom now. It was the Rangers’ decision on Avery a few weeks back that opened the door to a new opportunity for Nystrom, and he is relishing it.

“I’m so happy to be here,” said Nystrom. “I feel like I have a second chance and I learned a lot from this experience and I’m just trying to get better every single day.”

Eric Nystrom to make Stars debut tonight

October, 18, 2011
Forward Eric Nystrom, acquired last week in a trade with Minnesota, will make his Stars debut tonight against the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

Hockey Today: Scott Burnside, Pierre LeBrun and Craig Custance discuss surprising starts by the Stars and Avs and the Lightning's defensive woes.

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"The timing is good for him to get acclimated with the way we want to play," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said. "For him coming in here, we are going to need some energy because they are going to have some energy. It will help."

While the Blue Jackets are winless (0-4-1) so far this season and should be a motivated team, Gulutzan said his 4-1-0 team needs to focus on what it needs to do.

"Obviously, everyone knows their struggles. We're not really worried about (their motivation). We've played one good game in our last three," Gulutzan said. "In order to be a good team you've got to play good teams back-to-back. There's no reason we can't. We got rest, we got in here early. We got something to eat. We had a pregame skate. It's about our game."

A fresh start for Eric Nystrom

October, 14, 2011
DALLAS -- After his first skate with the Dallas Stars earlier this week, Eric Nystrom smiled when asked about the fresh start he was about to get after being acquired from the Minnesota Wild.

"I am so looking forward to it,” said Nystrom. “I didn't fit in in Minnesota and there was a situation here that gave me an opportunity, so all I can do is take advantage of it."

The situation in Dallas that gave him an opportunity was the Stars needed to add a player to get above the salary cap floor after the New York Rangers sent Sean Avery to the AHL, taking $2 million in cap costs off the Stars’ books. Nystrom’s $1.4 million cap hit was a financial fit. And the Stars think the hardworking role player can be a good fit on the ice as well.

"I know him. When I was (coaching) in Las Vegas (ECHL), in the Calgary organization, I saw him play at camp,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “He's an energy guy, he can skate, he plays physical and has a little edge to his game. I think he provides us with some speed and that’s going to help. I think he can play the way we want to play, a pacey type game. I think it is a real good acquisition for us.”

The 6-1, 193 pound left wing said he is ready to help the Stars in whatever way he can.

“Whatever they want me to do. That’s the situation I’m in. If they want me to do anything that’s what I am here to do,” he said. “I play a certain way. I play as hard as I can every night. That’s the reason I am in this league. I am willing to do anything I have to.”

The Stars are hoping to see the Nystrom who was an effective player in Calgary, scoring a career-high 11 goals in 2009-10 while playing in all 82 games. It was after that season that he hit the free agent market and signed a three-year, $4.2 million contract with the Wild. It didn’t go well in Minnesota last season, where he had 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) and a minus-16 rating in 82 games.

“As players sometimes you have an off year. That’s the way it works. You want to have an opportunity to rebound,” said Nystrom. “I worked as hard as I possibly could this summer to give myself a chance. So far it’s been a little bit of a rocky road to start this year, but this is a new start and I am so excited.”

Part of that rocky road was being at the center of some controversy when he was involved in a play where Edmonton Oilers defenseman Taylor Fedun broke his leg during a race to a puck on an icing call. Nystrom visited Fedun in the hospital and had to deal with criticism on Twitter. Then there was being placed on waivers and assigned to Houston in the AHL.

Now, Nystrom just wants to look forward and put the past behind him.

“I haven’t really been able to breathe, be myself. It’s been tough,” said Nystrom. “But I am excited for a fresh start. I just want to go as hard as I can, help this team any way I can and forget about the past.”

Broadcast note: Bob Sturm in the booth with Ralph Saturday

KTCK’s Bob Sturm will be doing Saturday’s television and radio broadcast with Stars’ play-by-play announcer Ralph Strangis. Sturm will be filling in for color analyst Daryl Reaugh, who will be working a CBC Hockey Night in Canada broadcast this weekend.