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Thursday, September 15, 2011
Anticipation high as Stars get ready to open camp

By Mark Stepneski

FRISCO -- After a long offseason it is back to work for the Dallas Stars, who will kick off training camp Friday when players report to Frisco for physicals before heading off to Prince Edward Island.

There have been a lot of changes since the Stars were last on the ice. There’s a new head coach and seven new players on the roster. With change comes a sense of anticipation and excitement.

“I think all the things we’ve done this summer, especially after free agency, you really got the sense that, wow, guys are really excited about the new guys that we got coming in,” said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. “I think there is a lot of anticipation. I sense it with our players, the guys that have been here.”

Glen Gulutzan, who coached the Texas Stars the past two seasons, will take over behind the Dallas bench. His assistant in Texas, Paul Jerrard, also joins the staff. The Stars have added forwards Michael Ryder, Vernon Fiddler, Radek Dvorak, Jake Dowell and Eric Godard and defensemen Sheldon Souray and Adam Pardy.

“It’s awesome that there are a lot of new guys in here and coaches,” said defenseman Alex Goligoski, who joined the team at last season’s trade deadline. “I think it’s kind of refreshing in here. I think we were ready for some kind of change. I think with all the new players and the new coaches there’s maybe an energy that wasn’t in here last year when I was here. I think that we’re at a start over point where we are all going to grow together, and this new way we want to play and with the new personnel we have.”

Gulutzan will work to get players on the same page as far as how he wants the team to play. And the new Stars bench boss will also have to figure out how all the new pieces fit together as the team prepares to kick off the regular season against the Chicago Blackhawks October 7 at American Airlines Center.

Players have been skating on their own in Frisco for the past few weeks in preparation for training camp and Goligoski said he can’t wait for the puck to drop on the season.

“Very ready,” Goligoski said. “I’m almost ready for training camp to be over and it hasn’t even started yet. I just want to start playing. “

But first there is training camp, which for the second straight year will open in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The Stars will take 49 players - 27 forwards, 17 defensemen and 5 goaltenders - to Canada for a total of five days. Players will undergo physicals Friday in Frisco and then depart for PEI, arriving Friday evening.

The first on ice practice is Saturday morning at the Cari Complex on the campus of the University of Prince Edward Island. There will be an intrasquad scrimmage at the Charlottetown Civic Centre Sunday evening. The team will practice Monday and Tuesday at the Cari Complex, play a preseason game at Montreal Tuesday night and then head back to Dallas for the rest of camp and the preseason.

The Stars have put together a training camp guide, which includes the camp roster, player groups, the camp schedule and more, and you can find it here.