My Off-Season Plan if the Stars have a $45 Mil Budget

As written here, if the budget is the same as last season the Stars will have about $6 million to work with, and four slots to fill. Not a lot to work with, and won't be easy to improve the team. I think this needs to be an effort to tread water and hope that ownership gets resolved sometime next season and set yourself up to be able to do some things the next off-season.

I think they can get better defensively, get a little bigger overall, and at least compete again for a playoff spot without doing anything dumb in the off-season to limit what you do in the future when the ownership issue is resolved. Losing Richards seems inevitable, so they do need to try and snag a top six forward at an affordable price. I'd also like to get bigger up front and improve depth down the lineup. Sounds tough, but it would be possible while only spending $6ish million.

A right shot in the top six would be nice, and while he has some deficiencies, Michael Ryder from Boston is a UFA who has had a couple down years but can score. I would think he could be had on the cheap, relatively speaking. Say no more than $2 million. I'd also like to go after guys like Joel Ward from Nashville and Michael Rupp from Pittsburg to not only add size but improve our depth in the bottom six. I believe Ward is a right shot, which doesn't hurt. I would think both combined might cost in the $3 million range. This is more than they make now but you probably have to overpay a bit in FA. At forward I'd consider Langenbrunner a good backup plan if other targets don't work out.

That puts them with hopefully one to two million to spend on a defenseman. You aren't going to get a top guy for that price, and frankly everyone available in this FA class has weaknesses. I'd go for a big, physical defenseman to pair with Goligoski. Let Skrastins(I'd keep him in mind as a backup plan if he doesn't retire) and Woywitka walk. I'd go after Hal Gill, he's up there in years but I think would be a great fit to sign for a year as a stop-gap measure. I would think he'd fit into the amount they have left to spend. Might go over a bit.

That leaves you with something like this as a lineup-

Morrow - Ribeiro - Ryder
Eriksson - Benn - Vincour
Wandell - Ott - Ward
Rupp - Burish - Petersen/Gagnon Barch



Grossman - Robidas
Goligoski - Gill
Fistric - Daley


Lehtonen Raycroft

There's one possible lineup combo, and hey maybe Glennie ends up being NHL ready.

I think this is all pretty realistic, gets you a little better defensively and bigger and better on the third and fourth lines. Pretty good combo of size and speed down the lineup, and a top six that is potentially pretty good.

I could see that lineup averaging something like 2.75 goals/game, which would put them middle of the pack. This season the Stars averaged 2.71 goals/game. This season's Stars team with a bit better defense would have snuck into the playoffs.

This is a user-created FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Defending Big D. FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable hockey and Dallas Stars fans.

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