A few days ago I mentioned the Puck Daddy “Summer of Disappointment” series they are running and how I thought they got pretty much everything on the list wrong, and that’s okay. Disagreements are the lifeblood of the internet. However, as a professional opinion giver I didn’t think it is fair to say that someone is wrong unless I’m able to show why. With that in mind, I would like to offer my opinions on the worst of the Dallas Stars. Today we take a look at the Most Disappointing Star: Pierre Turgeon.
This was a tough one for me to decide on, as there were a few names that popped up, like Derek Roy, Eric Lindros or Sean Avery (but why male models?). While the stay in Dallas for each of those three didn’t pan out as expected, there wasn’t really a huge shock that each of those players disappointed. Roy was coming off an injury, Lindros was a shell of his former self and on his last NHL legs and what did you really expect from Avery?
Turgeon on the other hand, came to Dallas with lofty expectations. In the five years he played with St. Louis prior to signing as a free agent with the Stars in 2001, Turgeon flat out produced, playing in 327 games, scoring 134 goals, 355 points and had a plus minus rating of plus 65. When he came to Dallas, he was joining a team with tons of offensive support around him, including players like Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, Joe Nieuwendyk, Sergei Zubov, and Brenden Morrow amongst others. Yet Turgeon didn’t produce. His most productive season in Dallas saw only 15 goals and 47 points in 66 games, which is great for a typical third line center, but Turgeon was not a typical third line center.
He was a bona fide number one center who was supposed to bring offense to the Stars third line. The Stars were coming off a season where they finished 10th in the league in scoring and Turgeon just concluded an 82 point campaign. With Modano and Nieuwendyk, the Stars now had the deepest wealth of centers in the league, something essential for teams trying to win it all. This was a Dallas team that was only two seasons removed from a Stanley Cup and one season removed from a Western Conference title, with designs on getting back there sooner rather than later. During Turgeon’s time in Dallas, the Stars finished 15th, 6th and 20th in offense.
Now I’m not sure if it was because he wound up playing in a third line role, his age catching up to him or the coaching style of Ken Hitchcock, but Turgeon simply didn’t maintain the level of play Dallas expected of him. For example, Turgeon averaged 1.08 points per game during his time with the Blues and 1.13 over his career. With Dallas that number fell to 0.62. Not counting his rookie year, Turgeon never scored less than 20 goals in a season. In three years with Dallas, he never scored more than 15 goals in a season.
He was added to put Dallas over the top, to help them compete for the Cup. Unfortunately for Dallas, the Turgeon they got was not the Turgeon they thought they were getting. He couldn’t produce playing behind Modano and Nieuwendyk, seeing his point totals decrease by roughly 50 percent across the board. The Stars never made the deep playoff run they expected to. In fact they missed the playoffs once and made it past the first round of the playoffs only once, never reaching the Conference Final. Turgeon ultimately left for Colorado after an unsuccessful stay in Dallas, earning only the title of most disappointing Dallas Star.
What do you think?
As always, I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading and go Stars!
Tags: Dallas Stars