Writer: Blake Wood
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Stars started the 2013-14 season with a new motto: A new star is rising. To those hockey fans out there, I’m sure you remember how exciting the time was. New names like Seguin appeared giving us confidence. Jamie Benn emerged as a superstar. And the Stars made their return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08. The excitement was at an all time high. That being said, they’re in everyone’s memories, the disappointment of not making the playoffs the very next year, even after adding pieces like Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky, and a new defensive super star in John Klingberg. And of course having to endure the most recent disaster that was the 2016-17 season. After another let down year from this team, it may be easy to write them off and forget about them. Especially the way Dallas sports fans are. If you’re winning everyone loves you and if you’re not then you are forgotten. While the teams of recent seasons have been good, they were not cup contenders and that’s just the truth. A good comparison to look at is the teams the Stars had as they closed in on the 98-99 season, the year they won it all. That comparison is that while they were close in the seasons before, they weren’t quite there. The same situation is what is going on now. There are a lot of GREAT pieces there. Especially on the offensive front led by Seguin, Benn, Spezza, and the young talent of players like Devin Shore and Janmark, along with the hopeful return of Nichushkin in the coming seasons. Where they were lacking was Goaltending and Defense. We all know Kari isn’t the same goalie he was 4 years ago, and it’s no secret that our defense is less than stellar. But the Stars have addressed these problems in a big way this off season. The first piece added over the summer was coach Ken Hitchcock. The same man who won the Stars a cup almost two decades ago. He is exactly what is needed because of his defense first game style which will mix perfectly with the Stars fast offensive style that’s already been laid in place. The Stars signed goalie Ben Bishop, who played his junior hockey in Texas for the Tornado, to a 6 year deal. This is the most important offseason addition in my opinion because he is a superstar. Knowing that there is a solid netminder behind them will give the Stars confidence to take more chances and start scoring goals like they were just a short time ago. Trading with Vegas to acquire Marc Methot adds a physical presence to the Stars defensive core that we haven’t seen in many years. Adding him into the mix with Klingberg, Johns, Hamhuis, Nemeth, and up and comer Honka, all of a sudden gives the Stars a solid mix of offensive, defensive, and two way defenseman that can shut down teams while still providing offensive flare. On top of all that, the Stars landed the biggest free agent signing of the year in Alexander Radulov. The Russian forward adds skill and speed to an already skilled and speedy team which can only mean good things. . To go with that signing, they landed a big trade with Vegas for Martin Hanzel Tgiving them a little more depth down the middle at the center position. The star is still rising. And despite the setbacks, it’s time to be more excited than ever about this team as they get closer and closer to the top.