I started this post almost a week ago... some serious procrastination going on. Some thoughts on the Stars...
The Stars have lost some key players from last season's team and now have some holes to fill before the start of this season. Gone are Guerin, Arnott, Kapanen, Mitchell and Hedberg. Arnott wanted a long contract and big money after he careered last year and found it in Nashville. He also claimed he wanted to be the go-to guy. Guerin was bought out of his $6.7M contract to give the Stars some room under the salary cap to add some new younger talent. Niko Kapanen was traded to the Thrashers for Jaroslav Modry and Patrik Stefan.
The new pieces brought in so far are centers Patrik Stefan (the top pick in the '99 draft) and Mike Green (who?) and defensemen Jaroslav Modry and former Star Darryl Sydor. Nice roll players, but not the money players they have been brought in to replace. The Stars have 8 defensemen under contract now, but are still unsure who plays on the top line with Sergui Zubov... it very well may be rookie sensation Trevor Daley. The Stars eight defensemen include: Zubov, Daley, Boucher, Niinimaa, Modry, Klemm, Robidas and now Sydor. The Stars still need to add a #2 center, a scoring/play-making forward and figure out who will be the backup goalie to Turco.
For those who have gone into panic mode, of the Stars 11 double-digit goal scores from last season, 8 of them are returning. Several holes left to fill with not many players out there available to fill them, but Doug Armstrong has done a great job since he's been with the Stars so lets see what he can pull off.
The Stars drafted Ivan Vishnevskiy with their first round draft pick, the 27th overall. Vishnevskiy, a defenseman, is considered to be the fastest skater in the draft. He was born in Russia but has already played one season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and is expected to live in North America year-round. In the third round, the Stars took left-winger Aaron Snow, who is more of a two-way player who fits in the Stars’ style. He had 68 points in 68 games in his rookie season in the Ontario Hockey League.
The Stars pre-season schedule was announced last week. Dallas will play the team that has eliminated them in the last two playoffs — the Colorado Avalanche — twice in the preseason this fall. The Stars also will see Pacific Division rival Phoenix twice (giving them 10 games against the Coyotes and coach Wayne Gretzky), as well as Tampa Bay twice and Atlanta once in the preseason.
The preseason schedule:
Monday, Sept. 18: vs. Atlanta Thrashers, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 19: at Colorado Avalanche, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 20: at Phoenix Coyotes, 9 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 22: vs. Phoenix Coyotes, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24: at Tampa Bay Lightning, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 27: vs. Colorado Avalanche, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 30: vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m.
More Stars news here.