Remember last season? There was all the talk of the core of the team? We needed an identity and we needed to figure out what direction our franchise would go in.
Well...one year later we are still searching for that illusive identity. But...are we closer to a core?
First. Who was our core? Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, Trevor Daley, Alex Goligoski and Kari Lehtonen. That was the core. (5) players. Not Morrow, not Ribiero, not Ott, not Robidas. (5) players under 30. All of them good players with great potential.
We got Benn signed to a 5 year deal, Daley is here for the next 5 years, Eriksson and Goligoski for the next 4 years and Kari for the next 6. (all these numbers include this 2012/13 season and assume none of them will be traded).
After this 2012/13 season, are we adding anything new to our team? Adding to the core so to speak?
I guess I am starting to see what GM Joe is doing. Slowly but surely he is putting guys on this team and creating a solid core of players in the process. If my assumptions are correct, that makes (3) solid centers (Benn, Roy, Eakin), (1) amazing winger (Eriksson), (4) good defense men (Daley, Goligoski, Dillon, Oleksiak) and (1) Phenomenal goalie (Lehtonen).
"Start with goal-tending, build your team up the middle and solidify it with defense".
Seems like that is the beginnings of a winning formula to me.
I also see that this team is not quite all there yet. Even with this new "core", it still is lacking severely in certain areas (like right wing, a right handed D-man, etc).
Does Matt Fraser, Alex Chaisson, Jordie Benn, Jack Campbell, or someone else make the jump next year to help the team? Does Radek Faksa or Brent Richie turn pro and compete in the AHL next season? Any trades or free agent pick-ups that add a little something that has been so desperately missing?
Truthfully, I don't see the Stars making the playoffs this year. And in a way, I hope they don't. They truthfully don't have a real shot at winning the Stanley Cup this season. What I would like the team to do is stay committed to the plan they have in place, commit to letting the younger guys gain ice time and experience and keep adding to the core this team has established. Continue to draft well and don't lose sight of what you are building.
We may be a team that has missed the playoffs for the last (4) years, but I choose not to see it that way. I see we have had an owner for (1/2) of last season, one full off-season and now a shortened 2nd season. We are building and we are making progress, slowly but surely.