As we watch another year of Stanley Cup Playoffs without the Dallas Stars, things off the ice have been silent too for the Stars over the last couple of weeks. Everything appears to be on hold right now. The team might have new ownership before free agency hits at the start of July, and maybe a little bit of light after wandering through the darkness fighting an up-hill battle recently. But right now the team, the players, and all the fans are just stuck waiting.
New coach? That’s “in the early stages” as GM Joe Nieuwendyk has said a couple of times recently. Montreal assistant and former player (including time in Dallas) Kirk Muller sounds like one of the top candidates and I would be fine with becoming the new bench-boss, but it sounds like the Stars may not hire a new coach until new ownership comes through (or at least gets closer to being finalized). Hopefully no one the Stars want gets snagged up while Dallas waits and they at least get to talk to the guys available that they want to. I’m not too concerned and trust Joe, but right now there is little-to-no movement here.
Free agents and primarily Brad Richards? Nothing going on here either. Everything along this front is on hold, again awaiting some change or forward progression with the ownership situation. We knew this would happen with Richards though. The Stars can not fully commit to a long-term contract without being able to have some sort of idea what their future and budget will look like. But as well, no one expects Brad to sign any sort of contract with a team that is without ownership and a set outlook for the future. So both sides wait, just treading water right now. The rumors are swirling around the hockey world about where he might go and who wants him, but at least until probably the draft in late June, nothing is happening. Along with the all-star center, the Stars have other free agents that are just waiting right now. Jamie Langenbrunner, Karlis Skrastins, Brian Sutherby, and a few others are unrestricted free agents and right now are not sure if they will be back or if the Stars even will want them back.
So for now, there really is not a lot going on other then a whole lot of waiting. At least from the fans perspective. We know Joe is busy trying to figure things out, start looking at coaching candidates, and preparing for the draft. And it goes without saying the upper management and staff are probably working behind closed doors. But right now fans are just sitting outside the building, waiting for someone to peak their head out and let them know something new.