Bringing a large amount of experienced players to Texas for the 2012/13 season in a bid to make the playoffs was a risk that Niuwendyk was willing to take. With 22 games played, the risk seems to have paid off.
The recruits have brought points scoring and talented offense to the team. Since the departure of Brad Richards and James Neal, the Stars were searching for consistent offense and were relying on a few players to get the majority of the work done.
Derek Roy, Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr were the main forward additions in the recent off-season, with Erik Cole arriving later. When you combine these names with the likes of Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson and Brenden Morrow, you have sheer talent in abundance. The depth in the Stars’ lines has also improved dramatically.
One of, if not the most positive thing about this season so far has been the emergence of the youngsters. When being called up from the AHL Texas Stars, they have offered a lot to the Dallas Stars, rather than just being another body on the
Who would have thought that Antoine Roussel would be a second line regular starter? This guy has been nothing short of awesome, adding lots of intensity and much-needed physicality.
Cody Eakin is also another who deserves a mention. He has recorded 13 points so far and his work rate without the puck is phenomenal, winning key puck battles all over the ice.
The youngsters playing in their first full NHL seasons have combined for 33 points. This just shows the impact that the more experienced players in the team have had on the younger ones. Jagr, Roy and Whitney have 3124 NHL appearances combined, they have invaluable knowledge to pass on.
With a lot of the Stars’ roster coming towards the back-end of their careers, the impressive rise of the youngsters is promising to see. The Stars as a franchise are attracting big names behind the scenes as well as on the ice. I think some good years are ahead in Texas.
Ray Whitney’s return to the line-up is just around the corner. With Kari Lehtonen fit and playing well again, the Stars will soon find some consistency and hopefully push up to a higher place in the Western Conference.