The NHL is less than 31 days away from the beginning of the 2017/18 season. Over this period we’re diving into the 31 NHL teams in alphabetical order, take a look at their previous standings and upcoming season predictions, as well as their key additions and subtractions. As we continue our way through the alphabet, we’re taking a look today at Dallas, a team that we definitely didn’t forget about at all. The 4th Line Podcast website is a truly international effort, so we’re gonna blame time zones or something. Here’s the Dallas Stars.
2016/17 record: 34/37/11
2017/18 prediction: Playoffs, back where they belong.
This time last season, the Dallas Stars looked strong, having finished the 2015/16 season top of the Western Conference and second in the league overall with a 50/23/9 record. Unfortunately for the Stars; that success didn’t translate into the 2016/17 season,. Te team finished with just 79 points, 30 points less than the season before, and a full 15 points outside of the playoffs.
A lot of work has been done in the offseason to try to make the Stars successful again. Antti Niemi’s contract was bought out, leaving the goalie tandem of Ben Bishop and Kari Lehtonen. Bishop was picked up in May in exchange for a 4th round draft pick from the LA Kings and signed to a 6 year, $4.917 million per year contract.
Upgrading the blueline was must a for Dallas. Marc Methot who’d been picked by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft was almost immediately traded to the Stars for a prospect and a 2020 draft pick. Esa Lindell‘s contract was extended by two years.
Offensively the Stars have made moves in the right direction; Hanzal and Radulov were both plucked from free agency. Radulov has played most of his hockey in the KHL, but shone last season with the Montreal Canadiens, scoring 54 points in 76 games. The Habs’ loss is definitely the Stars’ gain, and will likely slot into the top line alongside Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Hanzal brings options for the second or third line.
The Stars have made the right choices on the offseason and despite losing some big names, their replacements have the potential to shoot the stars to the playoffs. The failures of last season seem to have been overcome and we predict that the Dallas Stars will finish the season in the top three, and will probably enjoy a good playoff run too.