After CEO Jim Lites’ infamous rant last December, many fans were left wondering if the Dallas Stars would have a hard time attracting free agents the following summer. But after landing Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, and Andrej Sekera, it seems as if the fallout wasn’t as dire as feared:
The Stars had three things working in their favor: 1. They are perceived as a Stanley Cup contender. 2. They had cap space. 3. People like living in Dallas, especially during the winter. In the end, those three things that directly impact a free agent’s life matter more than Lites’ comments.
Going forward, the new additions might be enough to push the Stars up into the upper echelons of the NHL. But before you start dreaming of a Stanley Cup parade, remember the lessons of the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning — anything can happen:
With this roster (one that’s at the salary cap and with seven one-time All-Stars), they should make the playoffs, even in a competitive Central Division. After that, who knows what happens? The NHL playoffs can be so unpredictable. It’s why people love them, but it makes winning the Stanley Cup so hard.
You can read more from Matthew DeFranks’ recent Q&A here.
In a similar vein, here’s a nice segment from the NHL Network on the Stars’ expectations this season:
"They have so many of the ingredients that you need to be a good regular season team, but also a team that goes deep in the playoffs."— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) July 21, 2019
We have high expectations for the @DallasStars! #NHLTonight pic.twitter.com/sXRv2ay2Es
Around the League
I still can’t believe the Edmonton Oilers actually managed to trade Milan Lucic...
The world doesn’t revolve around Mitch Marner and Brayden Point — here are some other RFAs to keep an eye on:
Top RFAs such as Marner, Point and Rantanen have already broken out, but here are five unsigned youngsters who are primed for a breakout season in 2019-20:https://t.co/4GSB4oJG8V— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) July 20, 2019
Speaking of RFAs, the St. Louis Blues have extended Oskar Sundqvist for four years:
Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets extended Neal Pionk to a new deal:
#NHLJets have agreed to terms with defenceman Neal Pionk on a two-year contract with an average annual value of $3,000,000.— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) July 21, 2019
Pionk, 23, was acquired from the Rangers on June 17 after recording 26 points (6G, 20A) in 73 games last season.
DETAILS ➡ https://t.co/OkCqh9wkcs pic.twitter.com/BY1ov6vHLy
Finally, the New York Rangers need cap space, so will we see Chris Kreider on the move?