The Dallas Stars have about $16 million in cap space this offseason. That amount could increase, modestly or significantly, depending on which player gets scooped up by the Seattle Kraken in the imminent expansion draft.
So what do you suppose they’ll do with that money? The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf jumps into the Armchair GM game in his latest article. Not surprisingly, he starts where many Stars fans have staked out their own fantasy territory – with the forward corps:
The Stars have a winnable top-six in place, especially if [Denis] Gurianov can live up to his 2019-2020 potential and [Jamie] Benn can be as effective as he was last season after the switch to center. [Tyler] Seguin and [Alexander] Radulov would also need to stay healthy but after a short 2021 season and long offseasons for both, there’s reason to believe they will come back in good health. If the Stars have an opportunity to get another top-six talent in free agency, obviously they should do so but with the reality of the cap, the in-house options could get the job done.
What Dallas does need to do is find a way to bolster the “middle-six.” There are multiple ways to accomplish this, the most convenient being in the pipeline. Ty Dellandrea and Riley Damiani should both make legitimate pushes this fall to be mainstays in the NHL lineup. Both have shown promise, Dellandrea in limited NHL action last season and Damiani dominating in the AHL. But as the Stars have seen with [Roope] Hintz and especially Gurianov, sometimes a young players’ path to becoming an everyday NHLer could be long-winding. Dallas can hope they are answers for next season but can’t rely on it. This is where getting multiple players of the [Blake] Coleman ilk this offseason will be important.
By comparison, after years of tinkering (and the occasional ham-handed bludgeoning), the Stars’ blueline may already be Victory Green money, if GM Jim Nill can close a deal:
The Stars have half of the equation with their defensemen figured out with [Esa] Lindell, [John] Klingberg and [Miro] Heiskanen. What happens with [Jamie] Oleksiak is the big question here because his return would, at least initially, put him back on the pairing with Heiskanen and allow Thomas Harley to break into the NHL on the third pair. If the Stars and Oleksiak are not able to come to terms, Harley’s talent could vault him immediately to the second pair.
There’s more behind the paywall. Let the roster-bating...begin. [The Athletic DFW]
39th overall pick on this day in 2017 ➡️ finalist for Rookie of the Year in 2021— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) June 24, 2021
Happy to have ya, Robo pic.twitter.com/dVsjt0yoOb
Have you done your #MentalMiles yet? Stephen Johns’ cross-country journey is uplifting in any number of ways.
Yesterday was legitimately one of the best days of my life. From where I was mentally 3 weeks ago to now, I couldn’t help being overcome with emotion. I’m so happy to be doing something productive again. It’s even cooler that this is something way bigger than me. #MentalMiles ✌ pic.twitter.com/MDDIPzH7zf— Stephen Johns (@stjohns28) June 25, 2021
Brad Alberts got recognized by the Dallas Business Journal, which lauded his work helping to lead the North Texas region through the “challenging times” of the past year.
Resolved: Every day is Take Your Dog To Work Day. Doooooo iiiiiiiit.
Around The Leagues
Stanley Cup Roundup
Nervous, excited, pleading with the hockey gods. https://t.co/aYBpdfIR1Z— Lighthouse Hockey (@LHHockey) June 25, 2021
If the Bolts are to advance again, they may have to do it without
their the best forward in this playoffs.
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said he’s “not sure” if star forward Nikita Kucherov will be in the lineup for Friday’s Game 7 against the Islanders.https://t.co/rfcs6Uat8F— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 25, 2021
Did Scott Mayfield get away with cross-checking Kucherov? The video may not support it, but it does fit a convenient narrative about the Isles being a dirty team. What to believe....
Kucherov went to hit Barzal -- who avoided him. Went into boards, then to room— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 24, 2021
The Montreal Canadiens’ unsung heroes get a deserved moment of glory https://t.co/NJypI5K2Kg— Eyes on the Prize (@HabsEOTP) June 25, 2021
So that means the Habs get the...Campbell Bowl, reserved for the (checks notes) Western Conference champions. I quit. I give up.
The Montreal Canadiens, who are representing the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals, are the farthest-east team left in the playoffs. Montreal has a longitude of 73.56 west, while Uniondale, NY is at 73.59 (Tampa is 82.45)— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) June 25, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Defender Rhett Gardner, a fan favorite in both Dallas and Austin Metro, is back on a two-year, $1.5 million contract that will be two-way in 2021-22 and one-way in 2022-23.
Think about it. It’ll come to you. Happy weekend.