After failing to meet expectations in 2015 by missing the playoffs, the Dallas Stars exceeded expectations in 2016 by solidifying first place in the west. They finished with a 50-23-9 record, adding up to 109 points. They had the best offense with 267 goals for. Their one downfall was the goalie situation, which resembles Carolina’s. It can be very good, but inconsistency plagues the Stars.
Dallas faced Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs, winning in six games. They lost a tight, seven game series to the Blues in the second round. Unfortunately, pathetic play led to a blowout defeat in game 7 at home. Maybe things would have been different if Seguin was healthy, though.
The biggest move they made was re-signing Jamie Benn. Ranked the 4th best player in the league, his 41 goals and 48 assists landed him an eight year, $76 million contract as the Stars’ captain.
The next biggest move was acquiring Dan Hamhuis off of free agency. As a long time Vancouver Canuck, he has been an elite defenseman. Strengthening the back-end could help with the goaltending issue as they did not attempt to go after another net-minder. They also signed Adam Cracknell to fill a bottom six role, but he isn’t a big plus.
Their losses include Jason Demers, Vernon Fiddler, Colton Sceviour, Alex Golikoski, Travis Moen, and Kris Russel. While that’s a lot, I don’t think it will hurt them too much. Kris Russel was only there for a couple months, and they’ve got a few young guys who could fill in those spots.
They will be a force again this year, and if Seguin is healthy come playoff time, I can see them reaching at least the conference finals.