If you’ve been paying attention to Gone Puck Wild lately, and shame on you if you haven’t, then you know school has begun as Wild fans brush up on their knowledge of the new teams within Minnesota’s division. This week, that new team just so happens to be “the old team”–that’s right–the Dallas Stars. Going through Sunday, we’ll break down Dallas’ major additions and subtractions, strengths and weaknesses, prospect pool, 2013 draft class and team outlook.
The time has come, ladies and gentlemen. Your Minnesota Wild are, for the first time ever in franchise history, finally in the same division as the former Minnesota North Stars. Will there be tears shed when the Stars visit Xcel Energy Center as a new division rival? Probably not, there’s been enough time for closure, but it’ll still be a funny feeling, for sure.
That said, it’s time to get to know the new Stars. After all, names like Mike Modano, Neal Broten and Derian Hatcher no longer grace the roster, and even the old logo that bore any resemblance to the one used during the last years of the Stars in Minnesota is no more. So, let’s take a look at the new Stars, starting with the team’s most recent additions. We’ll get into the rest of the bunch later in the week.
There may have been no bigger addition to the lineup than 2010 2nd overall pick Tyler Seguin. Shipped with fellow former Bruins center Rich Peverley in return for Loui Eriksson, 2011 1st rounder Joe Morrow and another prospect, there’s no question Seguin is the new face of the franchise and Dallas is hoping the change in scenery pays off big time.
In a lot of ways, Seguin has become Patrick Kane 2.0 with his history of partying and immaturity. He has all the talent and skill in the world to be a major, major impact player in the league, but he has to have some self control. In 203 career NHL games, Seguin has scored 56 goals and 65 assists for 121 points, a plus-53 rating and 10 power play goals. His best season came in 2011-12, when he would score 29 goals and 38 assists for 67 points and a plus-34 rating in 81 games. After scoring just 16 goals and adding 16 assists for 32 points in 48 games last season, Dallas is banking on him finding his groove once again.
However, the high ceiling center wasn’t the only addition to the roster this offseason, the Stars also added centers Shawn Horcoff (a very reliable veteran center of 162 goals and 447 points in 796 games) and Chris Mueller (an intriguing journeyman who can pile up the points in the AHL, but it’s questionable whether he can take the next step in his career), top defenseman Sergei Gonchar and a backup goalie in Dan Ellis.
Gonchar is a huge addition to Dallas’ blue line and, at the tender age of 39, is obviously a commitment to win now by the Stars’ brass. In 1,177 career NHL games, Gonchar has been amongst the league’s best on the back end, scoring 217 goals and 558 assists for 775 points, a plus-39 rating. His 101 power play goals make him a no-brainer for the team’s top power play unit and he’ll likely log a lot of minutes alongside Minnesota native and former Penguins teammate Alex Goligoski.
Dallas’ additions to the roster proves the brass is not only looking towards the future, but is committed to winning now, as well. It will be interesting to see how this new-look team gels once the puck is officially dropped on the season.