After a disappointing 2016-17 season, finishing with 79 points for 6th in the Central division, the Dallas Stars had what I think is the best offseason by any team. They were horrible last year due to defense and goaltending, but fixed that with the signing of Ben Bishop and drafting Miro Heiskanen. For the forwards, they lost Patrick Sharp, but signed Martin Hanzal and Alex Radulov. Also, here\’s a look at what they did in the entire offseason.
Notable additions: G Ben Bishop, F Alex Radulov, D Marc Methot, C Martin Hanzal, RW Tyler Pitlick, F Brian Flynn.
Notable subtractions: C Cody Eakin, LW Patrick Sharp, RW Ales Hemsky, G Antti Niemi.
Here are my projected forward lines.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Alex Radulov
Mattias Janmark – Martin Hanzal – Jason Spezza
Antoine Roussel – Radek Faska – Brett Ritchie
Curtis McKenzie – Devin Shore – Tyler Pitlick
The first line is dynamic. Except for Janmark, the second line is really good. I could actually see them trading a younger guy like Janmark and someone like Remi Elie for a top six left-winger that could improve their team. James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault or Reilly Smith from Vegas would be some good candidates. The bottom six isn\’t the greatest, but it\’s manageable. Brian Flynn, Adam Cracknell and Mark McNeill are the extra forwards.
Here are my projected defensive pairs.
Marc Methot – John Klingberg
Esa Lindell – Greg Pateryn
Dan Hamhuis – Julius Honka
Methot and Klingberg is a good top pair. Lindell had a good rookie season, and is looking to avoid a sophomore slump this year. Hamhuis\’ career is falling, and needs to revive it this year. Stephen Johns, Jamie Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth are the extra defenseman. If their is a long-term injury, Gavin Bayreuther can step in.
Bishop had a bad last year, but the former Vezina candidate is looking for a bounce back season in Dallas. Lehtonen is going to be a backup this year, after previously starting, but could decrease by seeing less ice-time. Mike McKenna is the injury call-up.
The Dallas Stars improved wildly this offseason. I think, led by Lady Byng winner Tyler Seguin, the Stars will compete for a wild card spot, and make the playoffs.