NHL News: Remembering Brian O’Neill, Miro Heiskanen Aims Up

Remembering Brian O’Neill

NHL.com: The NHL lost a dear member of the hockey community on July 21st. Family, friends, and loved ones gathered on Saturday for a memorial at a church Brian O’Neill helped restore.

All the major NHL dignitaries were there including Gary Bettman and Bill Daly. It was something not lost on O’Neill family, especially his daughter.

“That was very meaningful,” said O’Neill’s daughter, Nancy O’Neill Paul. “Having Mr. Bettman and Mr. Daly here just sort of reaffirms that he had an impact in the NHL world and was well thought of. They’ve been very, very kind with their time, especially since things are ramping up now, if they ever ramp down for them.

“It’s a world that has meant a lot to this family and Dad loved his work. He just lived and breathed the NHL.”

O’Neill started working for the NHL in 1966. Then, it was overseeing the expansion from six to 12 teams. He took on many jobs and was even the NHL’s disciplinarian for a time. O’Neill was inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame in 1994 as a builder.

He truly was a rare renaissance man. His heart was all about being a people person yet caring most for family – whether that was his own or the sport of hockey.

Miro Heiskanen Aims Higher For Him and The Stars

Dan Rosen via NHL.com: Miro Heiskanen knows the goal is the Stanley Cup. However, for him and the Dallas Stars to be successful, they need to play even better defensively. His first goal is the Norris Trophy. Heiskanen understands he is among the best defenseman but only wants to be the best.

“That’s one thing I really want to win,” the Dallas Stars defenseman said at the NHL European Player Media Tour last week. “I want to be the best defenseman in the NHL.”

At the very least, the defenseman showed last year his increased offense did not take away from his defensive skills. The Dallas Stars advanced deep in the playoffs but Heiskanen only got one first-place vote from among 190 writers. This was in spite of a season that saw him third in assists and tied for fifth among all defensemen.

He knows it is an uphill climb but Dallas believes they can not only win the Central Division but the Western Conference and ultimately the Stanley Cup. With that, Heiskanen believes the accolades will come.