Dallas Stars’ Defensive Lineup Should Not Be A Difficult Decision

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 28: Julius Honka
ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 28: Julius Honka /

With the 2017-18 season right around the corner, the Dallas Stars are back together and preparing with training camp. Based on the first few days, it seems as if the decision for personnel on the backend won’t be as tough as initially thought.

The Dallas Stars’ 2017 training camp is underway in Austin, and big decisions about the roster for the upcoming season are in the works. Head coach Ken Hitchcock mentioned how impressed he was with Julius Honka – which turned heads.

The blue line might not be as big of a challenge to assemble as most predicted.


Heading into the offseason a lot was up in the air. The coaching staff was under fire for the poor season, the players were disappointed with their performance during the year and the Stars were suffering from an identity crisis of epic proportions.

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Fast forward a few months and there’s a lot more certainty regards to this team – including on the defensive line-up. Now it seems as if John Klingberg isn’t the only defender who is all but guaranteed a spot in the top six.

In addition to No.3 it wouldn’t would be a stretch to assume recently-acquired Marc Methot and veteran Dan Hamhuis will find themselves as part of the three pairings Dallas rolls out.

Almost shoe-ins

Then there’s the category of pretty much in the line-up. After Hitchcock’s comments and based on the style of game he typically coaches, it’s fair to assume Honka will find himself in this category.

Last season, Honka found himself a regular call-up in the event of a Stars injury, but this year it looks that he’s all but earned a spot. The first round draft pick from 2014 has been highly regarded since his name hit the spotlight, and the Stars have worked to help him in his development, which has made huge strides in the last few years.

The other defender who fits this mold would be Esa Lindell. Last year he served as Klingberg’s partner for the bulk of the season. Together they were as successful duo, facing off against the best offensive lines in the league.

Fighting tooth and nail

Aside from those, though, a lot is up in the air. It seems like the bulk of the line up will be taken with the five mentioned above; however, in the NHL nothing is certain.

Leftover defenders include Jamie Oleksiak, Stephen Johns, Patrik Nemeth, Greg Pateryn and Andrew Bodnarchuk. Of course, the Stars will keep at least one or two of them up in the NHL rotation to fill in for hurt starters; but that’s a long list of talented blue liners to leave on the sidelines.

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Ultimately, it’s up to Hitchcock and his coaching staff, as well as Jim Nill, to determine the future of the Stars defensively. They’ll have to work together to figure out Hitchcock’s style and redefine Stars hockey if necessary – which could very well influence line-up personnel. Hopefully, they’ll end up with a winning combination.