Who Is Most Important 'Impact' Player For Dallas Stars in 2011-12?

We're kicking off a new series this week here at Defending Big D, as we gear up for what we hope is a news-filled and exciting September. We'll be going through each player on the team from the player with the smallest impact on the season to the player we feel has the potential to be the biggest impact player on this upcoming season.

What's interesting about this countdown is how a sport like hockey is so much more than just the play of one individual. We've seen countless times through the years how one great player on a team is never enough to make a truly successful winner. It's about the depth on a team and how well they play together that really matters the most and no amount of individual greatness is ever enough to overcome the lacking quality a team has overall.

All that said, there is still some truth behind the notion that the Stars are going to need certain players to step up and raise their games for this team to find success. Expectations are perhaps a bit lower than expected because of the departure of Brad Richards and the lack of an owner, yet there is some potential for this team to do something a bit unexpected and great this year. No matter how much this team will need to be more cohesive overall for this to happen, the Stars are going to need to have players throughout the roster have a bigger impact on this season than they've had in the past -- or they'll be under pressure to continue at the same level of success.

So which player on this team is going to have not just the biggest impact, but the most important on the upcoming season? His contribution might not be the most productive but perhaps it has the biggest impact on the team and the potential success of the team. It's an interesting debate, seeing as how the first response is to say the player that will have the most points. Perhaps, however, Nicklas Grossman raises his game to an even higher level and takes a step into becoming a top defenseman in the NHL. Is the ensuing impact on the Stars' season greater and more important than perhaps Mike Ribeiro putting up 80 points?

I know who I have at the top of my list. Who is at the top of yours?

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