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Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday notes: More players arrive

By Mark Stepneski

A few more players were on the ice in Frisco today. Adam Burish, Andrew Raycroft, Maxime Fortunus and Severin Blindenbacher were the guys I noticed that had joined the mix at the morning skates.

Among the expected or possible roster players, only James Neal, Nicklas Grossman and Brent Krahn aren’t around yet. Grossman, I believe, is coming into town this weekend.

The guys who will be playing at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City this weekend were not skating today, or at least not when I was out there. Their gear was getting packed up because they are flying to Michigan tomorrow .

Forward Ondrej Roman is pumped. He missed most of the last season because of contract issues back in the Czech Republic and hasn’t played in a game in a while.

“It’s been a long time,” Roman said. “It was like back in February or January and it was a game in a Czech junior league, so that doesn’t really count. I'm pretty excited.”

The first game of the tournament is Saturday against Detroit.

I’m flying to Michigan Friday and will be there for the team’s games on Saturday and Sunday and will stick around for Monday’s practice day as well. I’ll be posting from Michigan over the weekend and I’ll have more on the tournament over the next couple days.

Stars moving up in the predictions

McKeen’s Hockey Yearbook is out and it’s not picking the Stars to finish as low as some of the other publications. Not picking them to make the playoffs though. McKeen’s picks the Stars to finish 4th in the Pacific and 10th in the Western Conference.

The outlook:
At best, the Stars may be able to sneak into the postseason if their offensive stars continue to produce and [Kari] Lehtonen proves a revelation in goal. At worst, things could get real ugly.

Here’s another look at the Western Conference predictions of some of the hockey yearbooks that are out on the market right now.