Wow. July 1st may be the day the Stars look back on as the turning point come next June.
As the free agency market opened yesterday, the Dallas Stars had already made a giant move in acquiring Jason Spezza for their second line center position for barely anything in return, thanks to the genius of Jim Nill. But after this trade, Nill had many Stars fans thinking, “Sweet, we got Spezza so Josh can shut up about who we should get for our center! I’m happy so I’m gonna escape from the Internet for a while, the Stars are done.”
You foolish people, you must learn how the Jim Nill works.
Once the free agency gate opened, Nill was off on a rant, swinging nasty (in a good way) and crazy deals left and right. These deals included the signing of an ELITE backup goalie known as Anders Lindback. The 26 year old was the former backup for the Nashville Predators before being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning where he started the lockout season until Ben Bishop took the crease by the throat. He performed pretty well over his 3 years in the NHL, with an overall .914 SV% and a 2.53 GAA. Lindback will represent something the Stars have not seen in a good while: a GOOD backup goalie. And getting him in free agency was the icing on the cake. The one year deal the Stars offered up was perfect for both sides because it will give Lindback a chance to prove himself while Lehtonen gets more rest throughout the regular season, and it will also give the Stars an out if they don’t like his play come next offseason, but something tells me that won’t be happening.
Say goodbye to the days of mediocre backups like Dan Ellis, an aging Tim Thomas, Richard Bachman, and Andrew Raycroft, and say hello to a major improvement in Anders Lindback.
The Stars also snagged the rights to Ales Hemsky, inking him for a three year deal. Hemsky had a long and tenured career with the Edmonton Oilers before he was traded at the deadline this past year to Ottawa. He finished his year with 13 goals and 30 assists, collectively. Hemsky has GREAT chemistry with Spezza and the two will look to play on the same line come next year. Hemsky was the major pick up and the Stars found themselves a true steal at $4,000,000 a year. Hemsky fills in Chiasson’s spot and was another free agency tackle. So it’s almost like the Stars gave up a RW for one and got a 2nd line center for free (I told you Jim Nill was a genius).
The Stars also signed Patrick Eaves in free agency from the Nashville Predators. He will most likely be filling in for the fourth line center in Fiddler’s spot, unless Horcoff sticks around, which in that case the Stars may send him to the minors for injury void.
How does Nill do this?! I don’t know but I hope y’all are trusting him like I am, he’s making the moves we need. Now the only question lingering is what will Nill do about a defenseman? Call up from the AHL looks like the most reasonable explanation at the moment. And with Nemeth, Fortunus, Connauton, and Oleksiak, the Stars have an army to choose from.
But it was a great Day 1 and the Stars are already projected to win the Cup (like that means anything, let’s see if they can deliver). Nill is a mastermind and some of these trades are unbelievable, but I’ll take em!
Quick note: A few minutes after the Kings won the Cup, Bleacher Report rolled a Stanley Cup odds off the press in regards to each team. The Dallas Stars ranked 14th with odds of 26:1. On the NHL Network today after the trades and free agency signings for the Stars, the station ranked the Stars up to 6th with odds of 14:1. I think they could push it a little further than that, not to get too cocky though!
Comments below on how you feel Day 1 for the Stars went and what their odds are for a Cup run now! GO STARS!