Trying to improve from within is now the goal for the Dallas Stars as we continue on the road towards next season. Free agency has come and gone for the most part and the Stars were not going to big buyers on the market anyways. The Stars current financial situation is well known and is not looking like it will get better anytime right away. The sale of the Texas Rangers is still up in the air, and the sale of the Stars will not fully kick off until the Rangers situation is figured out. So besides the slight additions (and I mean slight…if any) of Burish and Raycroft, there will probably not be any more new faces coming into Dallas this off-season.
There is the possibility of making a trade and there are still rumors every now and then about Ribeiro. But it has been stated a couple of times that the team is not going to make a move just to make a move. While that is nice and maybe comforting to some, this team still needs help with their defense and will be leaning heavily on some young guys as the team is currently structured. So while we could see that Stars make a move at some point this summer, or maybe during the season, it now looks like the way they will try to improve will be from within. The do have some young talent, and the Stars are now in the proverbial “changing of the guard” phase as more minutes and pressure will fall upon the young group starting to take over this team.
The improvement then will rely on growth. Guys like Niskanen, Fistric, Wandell, and of course the blooming Jamie Benn. Although I am not a Marc Crawford fan, the players will have to continue to work on the “system” that the coach is trying to run. It is tough because GM Joe said that sometimes you have to fight through until you can get the players in place that you want for the system you want. But the Stars have not been able to really change this team except for the switch in goal. The pressure to do better then now falls on the players here. Guys like captain Brenden Morrow and Trevor Daley have been here for some years and could be better then they were last year. We can not necessarily expect an amazing turn around from last season, but some of the biggest issues for Dallas last season were the road performances and the penalty-kill. Both of those can be addressed and worked on this off-season to at least try and improve in those areas. We can also look forward to a couple more young prospects pushing their way up to the NHL roster and seeing what they can provide. Later this week I will be posting on guys like Larsen, Glennie, and Perttu Lindgren that may get to the NHL level this year for camp, and if they will have a chance at making the roster.