The Dallas Stars have seen quite an overhaul to their roster this summer. They’ve said goodbye to some mainstays, including Loui Eriksson, but they’ve also welcomed several impact players, and others that you need in order to compete for a Stanley Cup title.
While the Stars may not be ready to compete for a Stanley Cup this season, there’s little doubt that new general manager Jim Nill has turned this team into a playoff contender out of the Western Conference. With a nice mix of youth and veteran leadership, they’re looking good heading into the new season.
It starts at the top. Jim Nill has come in to Dallas with the right mindset in terms of what he needs to do to improve this organization. He’s added impact talent, while maintaining a strong farm system. Lindy Ruff is a solid addition behind the bench, and a coach with plenty of experience.
In terms of the players on the ice, there’s a lot to like. The top line could be absolute dynamite, considering you’re looking at a potential trio of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Valeri Nichushkin. A terrifying thought for the rest of the conference.
Beyond those three, you have names like Shawn Horcoff, who will not only be an impact player on the ice, but a fantastic presence in the locker room as well. Ray Whitney has some serious game left, even at his age. Rich Peverley is as underrated a player as there is in the game. Erik Cole will rebound. Add in names like fan favorite Antoine Roussel and Cody Eakin and you have the makings of a strong forward group.
On the blue line, they lack an elite presence, but Sergei Gonchar is a solid veteran addition and will improve the power play. Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley are solid defensive defensemen capable of adding a few points, and the fact that Alex Goligoski was acquired for James Neal greatly overshadows the fact that he’s been a very good defenseman for this club.
In goal, if Kari Lehtonen is healthy, he’s a top 10 netminder. That has been an issue for him in recent years, but if he can hold it down, it makes this team that much better. He’s the x-factor for them, as his health alone could dictate their playoff spot.
Overall, it’s hard not to like what Jim Nill has put together in Dallas. This is a predominately young team, and one that should be ready to make a big impact heading into the 2013-14 season.