The next team was one of my favourites in the Western Association when I was very young. I still remember watching Bill Guerin, Brenden Morrow, Marty Turco and Mike Modano play on television. I didn't see them often and the few times I had the chance to see them in action, I couldn't watch the whole game because it started a little later. Since then, I've drifted apart this team even though they are full of talent. I like their style of play, but a few teams have taken their place in my heart. I am thinking of the Edmonton Oilers, which I particularly like. Let's see what's in store for the Texas team next season.
Let's take a look at the changes the General Manager made during the off-season. Jim Nill brought in Mark Pysyk as a back-up to the blue line. A relatively minor addition in this formation with good depth on defence. He will most likely play the role of the 7th or even 8th defenceman in the formation. The Canadian-born defenceman is the only new face on the team led by Rick Bowness. There has been more movement in the other direction. There have been four exits since the end of the last campaign. Corey Perry is still without a contract in the national league while Mattias Janmark has signed a one-season contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. In addition, Martin Hanzal has decided to hang up his skates. Three interesting salary economies since the Stars already have a lot of big contracts for their forwards. One last player left the American club. It is Roman Polak who signed a contract with Vitkovice HC in the Extraliga, the highest league in the Czech Republic. There is very little to say about all the departures and arrivals at the club. No major moves for the Stanley Cup finalists. It can be expected that the players who left will be mostly replaced by slightly younger players. Dallas is not getting any younger and will have to make room for its junior or American League players if it wants to develop them well and give them some quality ice time in the future.
Speaking of aging core, let's pay special attention to this one. We can't talk about the Stars without mentioning Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. The two players, who total over $19 million on the team's salary budget, have been one of the league's good duos for the past few years. Both players are quite complete and have been added to the Dallas lineup with good elements. That's one of the reasons they've been so successful. Losing in the Cup final is quite an achievement for this team. Many veterans surround the two pillars: Blake Comeau, Joe Pavelski, Andrew Cogliano and Alexander Radulov.In addition to experience, these players bring many different dimensions to the team dressed in green. Whether it is offensive, defensive responsibility or discipline, these are good tools to complement Seguin and Benn. A few good young players add energy. I am thinking of Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov and Joel Kiviranta, among others.At the risk of repeating myself, it's a complete core that knows how to win. We can also add the name of Ty Dellandrea who could become one of the faces of this team. The defensive brigade is younger compared to the forwards. With the exception of Andrei Sekera who is the defensive dean, all the defenders of the formation are 28 years old and under. Jamie Oleksiak, Stephen Johns, Esa Lindell, John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen are all good assets for the southern team. Honourable mention to another young defenceman who belongs to the Stars, Julius Honka. He had a difficult start to his NHL career, but has been doing extremely well since being loaned out to the Finnish Liiga. Let's also talk about the situation in front of the net. No changes to report, both goaltenders will be back next season. I'm obviously talking about Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin. Two experienced goalkeepers who will share the net in 2020-2021.
To close the analysis, let's determine where the Dallas Stars will position themselves. When we look at which teams they will be competing directly with, we notice the inexperience of the teams in their divisions. I see the Stars finishing 2nd in their section behind the Lightning. They have the tools to go far in the playoffs, but they will need the collaboration of all of their elements present.