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NHL Dallas Stars

Sergei Gonchar Makes Dallas Stars a Playoff Team

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars finished the 2013 NHL season with a .500 record at 22-22-4, which wasn’t enough to get into the playoffs. There were going to be changes made on the roster to fix those problems.

The first fix has already happened as the team traded for veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Dallas was 24th in the NHL this season in goals allowed, and you can’t pin that all on the goaltender. It has to be the defense as well and Gonchar will fix that.

He scored 27 points this season for the Ottawa Senators and was going to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He agreed to a new two-year deal with the Stars after the trade was completed. He is 39-years old and while age will take its toll in one way or another, Dallas has the real potential to make the playoffs next year.

It is only one player, but when a team can add a leader like Gonchar, it may have a similar effect to what Jaromir Jagr had during the beginning of this year.

Jagr may have been traded at midseason, and that could obviously happen again with Gonchar if Dallas isn’t in playoff contention around the trade deadline. I don’t think we will be seeing that, though. Gonchar is likely in his final two years anyway and will be playing them in Dallas. This could be the piece that pushes this team to the edges of playoff contention. They need better goaltending along the way, but Gonchar makes the defense much better all around.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.