The Dallas Stars are just over a month away from kicking off the 2013-2014 regular season, setting of their journey in a brand new direction for the franchise. Nearly everything about this team has changed over the past few years, with only a handful of players and front office types leftover from before Tom Gaglardi purchased the team in 2011.
We're optimistic about the direction the organization is headed and it certainly seems like the team is improving -- or at least being aggressive in an attempt to improve -- and now we turn to the task of determining just what sort of assortment of players the Dallas Stars now possess.
Each year, we come up with completely subjective and arbitrary rankings in an attempt to determine the most important player on the team for the upcoming season. Which player will have the biggest impact on the team's success or failure? Is it the No. 1 center or the goaltender? Is it the new free agent or the young rookie? Is it the wily veteran acquired via trade?
The criteria for such a trial is entirely subjective, especially in a sport where team play is so important. Yet there's no doubting the impact that individual players will have on a team's success, even it's the team as a whole that ends up struggling down the stretch with the season on the line. Jamie Benn showed us during the 2011-12 season that a player is capable of carrying a team when it's needed the most, and last year was proof that even strong individual performances -- Jaromir Jagr -- don't always have the team-wide impact you'd expected at the start of the season.
We've also seen that even if a player may be low on the list (Antoine Roussel) their impact can end up being much greater than expected.
Starting next week, we'll be counting down DBD's Impact Rankings for the 2013-14 season as we build toward the regular season opener against the Florida Panthers. In the meantime, we want to hear your thoughts on the process and what you see from each player heading into October. Who should be at the top of the list and who has the most pressure upon their shoulders?
We'll kick off our rankings on Tuesday, Sept. 3.