Many of the moves made by the Dallas Stars this offseason were talked about in exciting tones. Maybe none more than the trade for, and eventual re-signing of, Ben Bishop, as it signaled that the Stars had finally stabilized their goaltending position with a player that had a winning pedigree.
The one that was met with lesser fanfare than it probably deserved at that time was the signing of Alexander Radulov in free agency. The former Montreal Canadiens winger was the top right wing free agent in the market, and Stars general manager Jim Nill was able to lure him to Dallas with a combination of factors:
Contract: Nill offered Radulov the stability of a long contract, signing him to a five year, $31.25 million contract. However, this wasn’t the biggest reason Radulov signed in Dallas, as Montreal offered him the same contract to stay with the Canadiens. What Montreal couldn’t offer, though, was...
Contender Status: All the moves Dallas made this offseason, combined with already having players such as Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, and John Klingberg on the roster, signaled to the league that the Stars were pushing all-in on their window to contend for the Stanley Cup. The Canadiens aren’t exactly out of the discussion when it comes to making the playoffs, but their general manager, Marc Bergevin, has made some questionable roster moves that could prevent the team from contending in the prime of Radulov’s career. After a disastrous start to the season in which the Canadiens went 2-6-1 at in their first nine games, Bergevin is widely considered to be one of the general managers in the league sitting on the hottest of seats.
Radulov’s addition to the roster in Dallas solved a key hole in the lineup, that of a first line right wing. While his start was a bit slower and had some wondering what the fuss was all about when Dallas is paying him $6.25 million to score one goal and three assists in four games, Radulov’s now 16 goals and 39 points has been worth every penny.
When Radulov scores, he celebrates with a pure, unadulterated joy that is hard to find in this world. Every goal is an epic release of emotion.
And it isn’t just restricted to when Radulov scores, either. He has had celebrations just as big for goals scored by his linemates.
Radulov has been on fire for the Stars this year, gelling with Benn and Seguin to be one of the scariest scoring threats in the league. He’s had 10 multi-point games through slightly more than half of the season, just four away from matching his season total with the Montreal Canadiens last year. On pace to score 73 points, Radulov is on his way to a career year in scoring in the NHL.
Stars fans are going to enjoy every single joyous moment of the ride along the way.