The Dallas Stars look to maintain form after a season which saw them lose to the Calgary Flames in seven games in the first round of the playoffs. Although the Stars had a lot of departures from the team, Dallas still retains a lot of nice pieces that allow them to maintain themselves as a contender. Losing guys like Braden Holtby, Vladislav Namestnikov, Michael Raffl, Alexander Radulov, and Andrej Sekera seems like a lot to lose on paper but in reality it didn’t even leave a dent. Dallas’ roster still shakes out to be rather solid especially in a tough Central Division. They also managed to add forward Mason Marchment and defenseman Colin Miller to bolster their depth. Neither are All-Star additions by any means but both provide necessary aid in supplementary roles.
Dallas didn’t really have to make any major changes since their top six forwards and their top four defenseman are locked in. Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski, Tyler Seguin, and Captain Jamie Benn are here for the foreseeable future. And all look to make big strides next year especially under new direction.
The Stars had an abrupt coaching change as Rock Bowness resigned as coach on May 20 after being the Stars coach for three seasons. In that span they owned a record of 89-62-25 and found themselves in the playoffs two out of the three seasons he was head coach. One of the seasons featured a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals where they unfortunately fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. Instead, Peter DeBoer was hired. The former Vegas Golden Knights head coach looks to finally take Dallas to the next level and win another championship for the franchise. Under DeBoer the Knights were 98-50-12.
Another large shakeup to the roster was the departure of long-time defenseman John Klingberg. Though even with his absence, their defensive corps is still solid. Miro Heiskanen is poised to take a major leap next year as he is now the number one defenseman for the franchise. The former third overall pick is one of the top transition defenseman in the league and took a massive step forward last season. Heiskanen, like his draft partner Cale Makar, is a defenseman who could take a stab at winning the Norris next year given his prime opportunity as Dallas’ best defenseman and power play quarterback.
Outside of Heiskanen, they have some promising young pieces in Jason Roberston and goaltender Jake Oettinger. Both still aren’t currently signed on new deals, but when they sign, they become part of a nice nucleus to build around for the future. Robertson has stunned many as his development has vaulted him into an advanced role in Dallas. Last season as a 23-year-old, he had 79 points (41 goals, 38 assists) in 74 games last season. Projected to be a top line forward again, Robertson is a weapon. And Jake Oettinger is no slouch either. Drafted in 2017, Oettinger in his first full season in the NHL posted a 2.33 GAA and a .914 SV% through 48 games played. All of which is no joke from a 23-year-old who stole the starting job from Holtby and Anton Khudobin.
All of these young pieces in tandem with their long time veterans place them in a nice position in the Central. A team who at its peak showed us they could battle to the Stanley Cup Final. Under new direction and a slightly refined roster, they could surprise the league once again.