We've all gone around as to what is the best outcome vs most likely outcome for this season's Dallas Stars. At this point there are pretty much three possibilities.
1) They make the playoffs. Perhaps Morrow is dealt, maybe a minor move is made to shore up the defense but regardless they figure something out, play better than .500 hockey down the stretch and make it in to face Chicago or Anaheim. Once you're in anything can happen of course but the most likely scenario in this case is a 5 or 6 game series and a first round exit versus either of those teams.
2) They stand pat just like previous seasons. Again perhaps Morrow is sold, Roy is re-signed but regardless lack of loser points, inability to string 4 or more wins in a row, or injuries they fail yet again to make the playoffs and Dallas has a 11th-14th pick again.
3) Due to injuries, poor play, or just getting beat by better teams, Dallas falls by the wayside (ie 3+ points out of the playoffs come the trade deadline). They’re already at the bottom of the Western Conference standings which forces them to leap frog several teams just to get back in the hunt. That's not something they've shown themselves capable of in years. So they’re out and actually sellers this season.
I know everyone wants the playoffs but my question is a four or five game series where Chicago drubs Dallas really in the best interest of this organization? A few dollars, some passing media hype, a twenty something draft pick, no new assets because they didn’t move Jagr or Roy and maybe even Morrow, only to rinse and repeat next year? Is this what you guys want?
If you want Dallas to move forward as an organization you have to look beyond the next twenty games and figure out where exactly you are now and where you want to be in the future. The prospect cupboard isn’t barren but it seems to be filled with a lot of secondary guys. There’s no dynamic offensive or defensive players to be found. That’s what this club needs and that’s why getting a real blue chip prospect back in trade for Jagr or Roy matters so much. It’s why a top five pick in this really good draft is vital.
Ryder for Cole was just more of the same treading water while the ship goes down. Everyone says they expected this team to struggle then they’re surprised when they really do. This time though Niewendyk and company cannot follow the same let’s stay pat and pray formula they’ve followed for the past five years. A tangential question is what's more important to you Joe fan; five playoff games where Chicago treats Dallas like a ragdoll or continuing to look toward the future realizing that this year and probably next year aren't playoff certainties?