As i'm sure a lot of Stars fans are right now, I need to find some good in the season so kind of re-capping the downs, and downs of the seasons I hope to find some positives.This has been 2 years of Stars hockey I wont soon forget, and for almost no good reasons. Avery, Turco, Morrow(Injury and pre-olympic performance), Daley/Niksy, Defense in general, Crawford, Hull...the list goes on of things I would choose to forget about if I could. However, I believe there is some good to look forward to, and I want your opinion as to what you think of the future and where things lie, cap issues and short-comings aside for once.
Up front is clearly the my most promising thing about this team, by far. Richards, Morrow, Ribs, are all in their prime and look fantastic right now and provide an exceptional veteran presence to a very young core of talent. Ott was just rewarded with a big contract with maybe a lot of questions attached to it, but I think he has responded appropriately since inking the new deal providing 4 goals and 6 points(Not exceptional, but he has been better than his numbers show in my opinion), and the gritty team motivating performance he has been known for. Neal, Benn, Eriksson just keep getting better all 3 could be 30 goal scorers next season. Wandell, Seagal, Petersen breed hope that this team has more than sufficient depth going forward. Really maybe the only concerns I have are maybe 1 more checking line veteran presence that can win key FACEOFFS!!!
Defense...UHG! where to even start, I am just gonna leave out all of the negatives and want to talk about what is good. Robidas obviously the veteran cog that keeps this blueline together somehow...I don't know if anyone will ever figure out exactly how he does it. Grossman and Fistric are just fantastic, if they can take another step next season maybe this team will be better than anyone will be expecting, but it may be to much to ask to rely on the youngters to carry the blueline. 6 points for Daley in March...improvement is about all you can say, which is better than nothing. Considering he has had 2 point months this season I can only hope maybe he is finally ready to progress some when he is not being forced to be a key component. I do not really have much to say about Nisky, maybe someone on here has some positive things to contribute but I do not. Woywitka is a very serviceable depth guy who is still young and has room to grow I think he is worth keeping around. Skrastins seems to have taken a step back, however his veteran presence and shot blocking are important and I believe in the budget he has very good dollar for dollar value.
Goalie- before the Olympics I thought it would be a long haul before I would be able to say this, and it is still very early to be saying it. I feel very comfortable with Kari in house to take the reigns, obviously he is always 1 groin tweak, or pulled disc away from changing that in a heartbeat. But I believe this is a huge step knowing we have someone who when healthy has a ton of talent and has hopefully matured and gained a solid work ethic to go along with the talent. However a veteran backup will be vital, you look back on the seasons past and this franchises goaltenders are most successful when there is someone pushing the starter. I think relying on Kari to play more than 55-60 games next season would be a massive mis-calculation, all the successful teams nowadays that do not have a franchise goalie have for the most part a 2nd goalie who can come in and play and not worry the team/coach about weather or not he gives them a chance to win.
So those are my thoughts going forward, I am optimistic this team can succeed soon and I feel a lot of the right pieces are already in place, and Joe just needs to find the right compliments to what he already has. Personally I think aside from Nisky, Brunner(who are RFA's anyways) everybody has earned a spot on this team going forward. I do however understand a key missing component is a top notch d-man who can QB a PP, but i'm trying to think positives so give me a but of a break lol.