If there’s one team that made it clear that they plan to contend in 2013-14, it’s the Dallas Stars. They made serious changes to their roster, now looking at a strong mix of youngsters and veterans all over the lineup. One of their larger questions coming off of last season, though, is what they’d do to improve their blue line.
The blue line of the Stars is certainly where the bulk of their veterans reside. The Stars didn’t do much to upgrade the blue line, instead relying on one significant addition and the addition of some young talent to their defensive corps in order to keep the puck out of their own net.
Dallas rolls into 2013-14 with the likes of Stephane Robidas and Trevor Daley back on the blue line. There were some trade rumors surrounding each of them, but they still represent very solid d-men for this club. They play a gritty style of game and are each capable of contributing on offense.
Sergei Gonchar isn’t the player he used to be, but he showed last year that he’s still capable of logging some heavy minutes when necessary. He’s not the type of guy you want spending much time in his own end, but he’ll be a weapon on the power play in his first of a potential two seasons with the Stars.
Then there’s Alex Goligoski. The fact that the Stars traded James Neal to acquire him has overshadowed the fact that he’s a very capable defenseman at both ends. He plays well in his own zone and is among the better offensive defensemen in the league.
There is also an influx of young talent on the blue line. Jamie Oleksiak will likely get a shot on the third pairing. Brenden Dillon is coming off of a strong first season, and might even be a candidate to take over as the next Stars’ captain. This is a deeper blue line than it was last season.
The Stars may lack a star on their blue line, but it’s a deep group with the ability to contribute at both ends. This blue line should be good enough for the Stars to contend for the postseason, though it remains to be seen if they’ll be able to contend for a title with this group.