The Dallas Stars have missed the playoffs five consecutive seasons. That is not the kind of trend that any NHL team wants to establish. The last time that the Stars did make the playoffs, the team went all the way to the Conference Finals before being eliminated. The Stars finished with a lackluster 22-22-4 in the 2012-13 shortened season and dropped to last place in their division. The good news is that there is nowhere for Dallas to go but up. The bad news is that the team will have to make some pretty drastic offseason moves to start making that upward climb. This will be a very important offseason for the Dallas Stars.
2014 Stanley Cup Odds: 40/1
Notable Change #1: Trading for Tyler Seguin.
Tyler Seguin was not the most hated athlete in Boston, but he was close. When the persistent rumors of Seguin’s bad attitude and poor work ethic would not go away, the Bruins decided to trade Seguin to the Dallas Stars. The change in teams could be just the jolt that Tyler Seguin needs to turn his game around. He was labeled as lazy when he played in Boston, and he earned that label. But when Seguin really pushed himself, he showed that he has tremendous talent. He will take the spot as the center on the team’s top line. This is Seguin’s chance to show the league that he is not who they think he is. The Stars hope that Seguin takes advantage of that opportunity.
Notable Change #2: Losing Loui Eriksson.
Every trade has two sides, and the other side of the Seguin trade was young forward Loui Eriksson. He was not only a hard-working player, he was a fan favorite as well. Now the Stars are replacing a fan favorite with a guy that has a reputation for not working hard. The stakes for Dallas in this deal are huge. If Seguin bombs, then Dallas just gave up the best young forward it had for nothing. But if Seguin is a star, then Loui Eriksson will be a footnote in the history of the Dallas Stars.
Notable Change #3: Firing Joe Nieuwendyk.
When the 2012-13 season ended, the Dallas Stars fired general manager Joe Nieuwendyk and brought in no-nonsense general manager Jim Nill. Nieuwendyk was a popular guy, but he would not have the vision to make a trade like the Seguin deal. The Stars need to build a championship team and build it in a hurry. Nill understands that an NHL playoff team is built from the ground up, which is why he was so quick to bring in a talented youngster like Seguin. This is a move that will determine the Dallas Stars’ fate for many years to come. The Stars just hope that it was the right move to make.
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