By: Matt Goss
The Dallas Stars have been a respectable team for the last couple years. They have had bad luck making it into the postseason however. The team has not made an appearance in the playoffs since the 2008 season, so the city is hoping to make a run at the Cup in these next couple years. Dallas seems to be getting better with new acquisitions this offseason and may make them a contender for the cup. The big question here is, "Will Dallas be able to contend for the Cup in the next year?" In order to predict if they will have a big splash in the Stanley Cup playoffs, we will look at two factors, the overall ability of the Western Conference and an evaluation of the talent the organization has acquired.
It is no secret that the Western Conference has the biggest powerhouses in the entire NHL. The Chicago Blackhawks are an incredible team that always makes a big run at the Cup. To no avail in the latest playoffs, the Blackhawks still managed to extend their season to the third round and bring the eventual champions to a Game 7. Speaking of champions, the Western Conference also possesses the incumbent champions, the Los Angeles Kings. This team is so successful, consistent, and good that many networks and fans are using the D word! In a world where professional sports are insanely hard to be the kings of, the Kings seem to have done this. They have created a dynasty in LA that has propelled hockey in the city to new heights with the best team in hockey. On top of this, it doesn't look like they're going anywhere soon as they rule the NHL and furthermore, the Western Conference. Now what does this mean for the Dallas Stars? It means quite a bit. In a conference where you have the best teams in hockey, it is hard to make it into the playoffs, or at least more so than in the Eastern Conference. The Stars really have to up the stakes here to contend. Even harder will be the competition in the playoffs, as the Stars will have to play 3 Western Conference teams in the process to make it to the final. These teams could very well include the Blackhawks or the Kings, making for a very tough run. This will make it hard for the Stars to advance too far without the personnel, but let's assess their acquisitions as well as current players to come a conclusion about next season.
Last year around this time, the Dallas Stars acquired Tyler Sequin from the Boston Bruins. Sequin proved to be a hard-playing elite centerman for the Bruins as well as the Stars. This was a big trade twelve months again and for sure made the team better. The Stars have done it again, capturing Jason Spezza from the Ottawa Senators. Spezza, a highly talented player, will help the Stars produce some offense in the next years. Along with Spezza, the Stars have acquired Ales Hemsky, who was in fact a former linemate of Spezza's back when they both played in Ottawa. This will benefit the Stars because you now have two good forwards who understand each other's' games before they even play a game. It is good for chemistry and the ease of going to a new team. Spezza even said, "We had great chemistry at the end of the year." On another good note, Antoine Roussel has been signed to a four-year deal. This is big for Dallas because this 24 year old forward is a big member of the team and has much room to grow into a big player. All in all the Stars have made big moves to acquire more players, good players. This only adds to the power of the team for the next season. The team is going to be good this year, but can it contend for the Cup?
In all honesty, I do not believe the Stars have much chance at the Cup. I wouldn't call them favorites by any means but I still feel as if they have a chance. For all we know, they could dominate this year, or they could extend their postseason less drought. It is looking more likely that they will make the playoffs, and the drought looks like it'll end but it is not looking extremely promising for a team surrounded by talent throughout the conference to make a huge run at the Cup.
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