I admit I am more optimistic than a lot of people about next year. Even in my craziest scenarios I don't see this team as a cup contender but I do think they could easily win the division with the right moves, and at this point I feel focusing on positives is better, we just had our hearts torn out at the end of the season and we have six months to be pessimistic. So without further ado, the 2012-2013 Dallas Stars
Line 1 Loui/Benn/Ryder
Line 2 FA/Ribeiro/Smith or Fraser
Line 3 Ott/Glennie/Morrow
Line 4 Garbutt or Vincour/Fiddler/Nystrom
D Pair 1 Goose/FA
D Pair 2 Larsen/Fistric
D Pair 3 Daley/Dillon or Benn
For the two free agent spots I would like to see PA Parenteau at forward, DMN threw out Parise and Doan yesterday, but I don't see Parise coming and Doan is 36 and wouldn't come to a rebuilding team, on defense Wideman, Jackman, and Carle intrigue me
For the undecided spots, Dillon impressed in one game and Benn was decent in limited time, I'd rather see either over Pardy, but I expect the loser of this battle would go to CP and Pardy will remain the 7th guy. For Garbutt and VIncour, the two could be rotated in and out depending on the opponent and their own performance, Vincour has nothing left to show in the AHL though, and the organization showed belief in Garbutt by not putting him on the Clear Day Roster this season. I will probably catch a lot of heat for having Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser battling for a top six spot. My question is, who else then? I would rather see Ott and Morrow play well on the third line than struggle on the second line, the FA class is pretty weak and keeping some flexibility rather than overpaying for a fringe top six guy is in line with Gaglardi's comments so far. Smith and Fraser are both scorers who I think we would all love to see become legit top 6 guys one day soon, and by playing them their right away we find out what we have.
Working against that is Gulutzan's reluctance to play Smith at the end this year, and the fact that they are unproven and will have to have killer camps to make the squad with the loser of the battle beginning the year in the AHL. I agree, but raise your hand if you saw Jamie Benn making the squad out of PEI a few years back, even Jamie said he didn't expect to.
So, that's my two cents, fell free to support me, rip me, constructively criticize, or give your own lines