This season we saw the emergance of a potential top pair guy in 22 year old Brenden Dillon. While Dillon helps fill the top defensive pair, he is not the answer to all of the Stars defensive problems. Too many times I saw the Stars defensemen on the recieving end of big hits. While the Stars havent had a problem with injuries in the defensive corp, they have had problems with preventing the other teams big guys like Joe Thorton of San Jose, or Martin Hanzal of the Phoenix Coyotes from planting themselves infront of the goal crease and wreaking havoc with screens and redirects. Most fans agree that the stars have too many defensemen that are small. Luckily for Stars fans, 20 year old 6 foot 7 250 pound Jamie Oleksiak looks like he is ready to join the big leagues for good next season. So for the Stars defensive corp, the future is bright, but for now, they need an upgrade in the physicality and size department while balancing it with scoring ability.
This off-season the Stars will have to decide what to do with 7 defensemen.
Name 2012-13 Cap Hit RFA/UFA
Jo. Benn 525,000 RFA
K. Connauton 900,000 (EL) RFA
C. Gaunce 845,833 (EL) RFA
M. Fortunas 650,000 UFA
T. Sloan 600,000 UFA
J. Coyle 536,667 (EL) RFA
C. Sneep 525,000 UFA
For next season, the Stars will have 14 defensemen under contract.
Name Age Cap Hit Years remaining
A. Goligoski 27 4,600,000 3 years (NTC starting 2013-14 through 2015-16)
S. Robidas 36 3,300,000 1 year (NTC)
T. Daley 29 3,300,000 4 years (Limited NTC)
A. Rome 29 1,500,000 2 years
P. Larsen 23 1,025,000 1 year
B. Dillon 22 900,000 1 year (EL)
J. Oleksiak 20 1,369,167 2 years (EL)
J. Morrow 20 894,167 2 years (EL)
P. Nemeth 21 870,000 2 years (EL)
L. Bystrom 18 925,000 2 years (EL)
J. Klingberg 20 870,000 2 years (EL)
J. Jokipakka 21 750,000 2 years (EL)
T. Vance 19 750,000 2 years (EL)
H. Labrie 21 540,000 1 year (EL)
I will be continuing this post when I have time to this week after I have gathered some more information. Until then, who do you guys think will be on the NHL roster for next season? Who gets moved? Will the buyout be used on a defensemen?
Going into next season, I beileve that the only locks for defense are:
The last 3 remaining spots will go to:
Potential Free Agent brought in
I have to admit, before I started this I had never seen Connauton play (The downside of going to college in San Antonio is that I havent been able to watch my home town team the Texas Stars play). But after watching video of him, the first thought that came to mind was that he looks like he could be a poor mans Sergei Zubov. While he may not put up a lot of points, he has good speed and has a nice set of hands for a defensemen.
Heres some video of him.
This offseason has some interesting pieces that the Stars could use. I think there are 10 defense men that could be the right piece for the Stars. They are:
Name Age 2012-13 Team 2012-13 Salary
I. White 28 Detroit 2,875,000
M. Smaby 28 Anaheim 650,000
B. Lovejoy 29 Anaheim 525,000
R. Whitney 30 Edmonton 4,000,000
A. Alberts 31 Vancouver 1,225,000
K. Foster 31 Philadelphia 950,000
R. Hainsey 32 Winnipeg 4,500,000
J. Leopold 32 St. Louis 3,000,000
R. Regher 33 Los Angeles 4,020,000
D. Murray 33 Pittsburgh 2,500,000
(All those listed above are UFA)
In the minors the Stars have under contract:
Its probably going to be easier to predict what the Texas Stars defensive corp will look like then it is Dallas'.
Patrik Nemeth D 6ft 3 Age: 21
This past season was a rough one for young Patrik Nemeth. Injuries caused him to miss most of the last part of the season and limited him to only 47 games. Despite not playing the full season, Nemeth had one of the best plus/minus rating on the team at +11. And while he is not going to be an offensive type defensemen, he will pitch in points every now and again. I think that Nemeth will spend another year with Texas in the AHL before he is considered seriously for an NHL roster spot.
Nemeth scoring the GWG in OT vs Russia at the 2012 U20 IIHF tournament in Calgary
Kevin Connauton D 6 ft 1 Age: 23
I have to admit, prior to the trade with Vancouver, I had never even hear of Kevin Connauton. But nowI can see what Joe liked about the guy when he traded Derek Roy to Vancouver for Connauton and a 2nd round pick. For a defensemen he was an excellent set of hands and has speed to resembles that of Trevor Daley, which is always a plus. Along with have speed, he is also plays with a big body by engaging opposing players infront of his net and pushing them out of the way. He makes it look easy at the AHL level, and only time will tell if it translates well to the NHL level. By using his speed, Kevin has been able to creat odd man rushes go the other way that usually result in very good scoring opportunities.
I think that the Stars will end up resigning him in the off season, and then keep him with Texas for the all of next season unless he comes out and pulls a Brenden Dillon during training camp.
Nemeth and Connauton should make up half of the top 4 defensemen on the Texas Stars next season. Other defensemen that will be in Cedar Park next season include:
Jordie Benn (If they resign him, which I think they will.)
The 7th defensemen slot could go to:
J. Coyle (if resigned)
If the Stars were to bring back Maxime Fortunus, it would most likely be in a leadership role to help out Klingberg and Jokiakka adapt to the North American style of play.
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.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.