Stargazing: Dallas Stars Season Previews

Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars news, as well as a look at what's happening around the Pacific division and the rest of the NHL. Stargazing will run every other day or so, now that things are picking up, becoming a daily feature once the preseason begins.

With the weekend, and NHL training camps across the nation(s) upon us, a bevy of sites are releasing team previews for the coming season and yesterday was apparently Dallas Stars day across the net. We'll take a look at several here today on Stargazing, and try to connect the commonalities to piece together what the public opinion is, in all of its infinite wisdom. Suffice it to say, the words Sean and Avery are likely being tossed around out there, but don't worry about that too much. Everyone's pretty impervious to that by now, right?

It is also a big day (maybe) in the Pacific division (perhaps) because Dany Heatley appears to (might have been) traded to the Sharks, and Patrick Marleau (could be) on his way out to the Kings. (possibly?) We hope to have the final word on that as reports out there waffle back and forth. Does that news dismay you as much as does me?

Stars News and Notes:

If you read only one season preview (aside from what we put out here, of course) then it make it Puck Daddy's wildly entertaining opus on all things Dallas Stars. His bottom line is hard to argue with:

With fewer injuries, a better Marty Turco and 100-percent less Sean Avery(notes), the Stars will come out of the gate better and remain close to the pack. It may very well come down to the Stars or the division rival Anaheim Ducks for a playoff spot (unless the Los Angeles Kings have reached the point of postseason maturity). The depth of forward is good, the defense had the potential to be solid. If Turco answers the bell, they'll be close.

But he asks the real question much earlier in his piece...

After the jump, TSN Previews the Stars, Mike Heika talks goalies, Ross McKeon of Yahoo Sports looks at Dallas next year, and the Stars Prospects play their final game in Traverse City, and a roundup of Heatley denials...

Puck Daddy (or Mr. Daddy if you like...that sounds bad) strikes at the heart of the matter here:

Crawford's high-octane offensive philosophy would seem to be in direct contrast with Dallas's traditional defensive dogma, but perhaps that's the point; there is some legit offensive talent on this roster that, in the right system, could produce significant results. But will the defense suffer for it?

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TSN opines thusly:

On the positive side, the team will not have some of the same distractions that they did last season. Avery is long-gone, while former co-general manager Brett Hull has been re-assigned by the organization into a role more suited for his talents. A new coach and general manager have given the team a refreshed sense of optimism. Team captain Brenden Morrow is healthy once again and will provide leadership, toughness and scoring that the team sorely lacked in his absence last season. The team also hopes that Turco can shake off last year's struggles to return to the elite level where he has spent so much of his career.

Pointing out things that are different (Brett Hull, Brenden Morrow, Sean Avery) is a time honored hallmark of prediction-making, because they have no idea what's going to happen. None of us do.

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In addition to making what I think is a good Trevor Daley point, and the same old Marty Turco hub-bub, Ross McKeon says the following:

The Stars are going to have to learn Crawford’s system quickly and adjust to Nieuwendyk’s demands on the fly. Dallas got buried in the early season standings last season and, despite a decent midseason run, couldn’t overcome the physical demands needed to maintain it down the stretch.

More and more teams are changing their systems to adapt to the faster, more aggressive tendencies that the successful teams display since the end of the lockout. It doesn’t pay to sit back, chase the puck or necessarily always wait for the other team to make a mistake. The Stars could always rely on goaltending, penalty killing, etc., to stay in games, but that philosophy will change with the new regime.

He's right. For the first time in I can't remember how long, the Stars will attack their problems with a completely different set of solutions. In the past shortcomings were always sure to be followed by a more disciplined effort with fewer mistakes. Now I'm not so sure. Uncertainty is the name of the game until they get some games under their belts.

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Last year the Stars goaltending position as a whole was a mess. The lack of an AHL affiliate spread the Stars goaltenders out too far and wide, with development difficult to gage and improvement hard to come by. The coaching staff didn't trust their backup, and Marty...well you know. Mike Heika outlines today in the Dallas Morning News how that is all about to change this season:

But if you want to judge the Stars on paper, they appear poised for a big bounce-back year in net. Turco has been working out daily in Frisco for the last few weeks, new backup goalie Alex Auld should provide consistency and experience, and the start of the Texas Stars gives Dallas a nice arrangement to better gauge the progress of the youngsters.

"In terms of potential for improvement, we're in much better shape," said Tim Bernhardt, the Stars director of amateur scouting and a former goalie. "It just sets up better for everyone this year."

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The fate of the Dr Pepper Star Center in Duncanville could be decided later today by city officials, the Morning News reports:

One scenario looks at the StarCenter staying open, "which is our preference," Cogen said. The proposal keeps the Stars involvement the same in regards to their operation and responsibilities.

The proposal includes reducing the Stars’ rent from $70,000 a month to $50,000 a month, according to Cagle.

Cagle said the city could live with the reduction of rent, but is still concerned "if the Stars want to make this a success."

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And as you know, the Stars prospects fell in their finale to Detroit yesterday in Traverse City, 4-1.

Around the NHL:

As of 12:01 EST, I still have no idea if Dany Heatley is a Shark. Here's the latest version of the story from MercuryNews.com:

A report that the Sharks have acquired high-scoring winger Dany Heatly from the Ottawa Senators in a three-team deal were quickly shot down by San Jose general manager Doug Wilson Thursday night.

ESPN reported San Jose reached an agreement to send former captain Patrick Marleau to the Los Angeles Kings, who would then send Alexander Frolov and Jarret Stoll to Ottawa.

Both Sharks GM Doug Wilson and Senators GM Bryan Murray denied the three-way trade when reached by ESPN.com. Ottawa GM Bryan Murray also shot down the rumored deal when reached for comment by ESPN.com.

"It's simply not true," Murray told ESPN.com. "I've had conversations with teams today but still I'm not close to a deal [involving Heatley]."

Still, ESPN reporter John Buccigross' Twitter report later Thursday read, "Dany Heatley will probably be a Shark tonight or tomorrow."

There are a lot of folks out there who seem confident about it, so it's hard to say.

 

 

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