NHL.com's Offseason Assessment: Pacific Division

Here’s what NHL.com had to say about the Dallas Stars:

Last season: 42-29-11, 95 points (5th place Pacific, 9th place Western)
Additions:Michael Ryder, RW; Jake Dowell, C; Radek Dvorak, RW; Vernon Fiddler, LW; Eric Godard, RW; Adam Pardy, D; Sheldon Souray, D
Subtractions:Brad Richards, C; Jamie Langenbrunner, RW; Karlis Skrastins, D; Jason Williams, C;Jeff Woywitka, D
Up-and-comers:Tomas Vincour, C; Philip Larsen, D; Jack Campbell, G;

Despite being a team that lasted until the last game played in the 2010-11 regular season before falling short of a playoff berth, the Stars went through a major overhaul this summer as GM Joe Nieuwendyk changed coaches and watched his No. 1 center leave via free agency only to bring in a host of new players, including a key contributor off the Bruins’ Stanley Cup-winning roster.  Ryder, who had 17 points in 25 playoff games for Boston, signed a two-year contract on July 1, a day before the Stars officially lost Richards to the New York Rangers. Fiddler, Pardy, Souray, Dvorak and Dowell also signed with Dallas soon after the opening bell on the free-agent signing period rang.

Souray is obviously one of the more intriguing signings, as the former all-star will look to regain some of his swagger in Dallas. If Souray, who is 35, is able to kick-start his career after languishing in the AHL last season, the Stars’ blue line will get a major jolt of energy and their power play will get a monster shot from the point.

New coach Glen Gulutzan will have to find someone who wants to step up to be the Stars’ No. 2 center. They’re deep on the wing with Ryder, Brenden MorrowLoui ErikssonJamie BennSteve Ott and Dvorak, but they lack depth at center behind Mike Ribeiro. It very well could be Ott. Fiddler is likely a third-line, checking-line pivot.

It’s always interesting to see what national publications like NHL.com or Yahoo’s Puck Daddy have to say about the Stars in comparison to the local sites such as ourselves here at Blackout and others such as Defending Big D.  Further more it will also be intriguing to see who is closer when it comes to who ends up playing where.  That said, it’s a decent assumption that Ott could end up centering the second line while Benn sticks to the wing.  Only time and probably how the pre-season turns out will tell, but at least this prediction isn’t all doom and gloom about how large the loss of Brad Richards is going to be for the team.

You can find the whole article covering all of the teams in the Pacific Division HERE.

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