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Founded: 1967 (as Minnesota North Stars), 1993-present as Dallas Stars
Home Arena: American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX., 19,323 capacity
Championships: Stanley Cups: 1, President’s Trophies: 2, Conference titles: 2, Division titles: 8
Owner: Tim Gaglardi
General Manager: Jim Nill
Head Coach: Jim Montgomery
Team Captain: Jamie Benn
For a team that only ranked 28th in the league last season when it came to scoring goals, the Dallas Stars didn’t do too badly for themselves. The Stars made sure that the goals they did score mattered and the team finished the season tied for fourth in the Western Conference alongside the heavily favored Vegas Golden Knights. Dallas finished the year with 45 power play goals and a very respectable 21.03 percent success rate with the man advantage. The team finished 29th in the league in shooting percentage and 21st in the league for shots taken. Dallas knocked out the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs but were ousted in the second by the eventual Cup-winning St. Louis Blues.
The Dallas Stars definitely had one of the more interesting offseasons this year – especially in regard to their offensive core. Not one, but two seasoned NHL veterans joined the club as other members opted to sign new deals with new teams. The first major signing was that of former long-time San Jose captain Joe Pavelski. In 75 games with the Sharks last season, Pavelski netted 38 goals and added 26 assists. Although his year-to-year production is starting to drop, Pavelski brings invaluable playoff experience to the Dallas club. The second big-name signing to the Stars was Corey Perry. Perry brings plenty of playoff experience as well, including a Stanley Cup win. Unfortunately for the team, Perry has been suffering from injuries his last few seasons and it has already been announced that Perry will miss, at a minimum, the NHL preseason with a fracture in his foot. On the other side of things, both Jason Spezza and Mats Zuccarello opted to sign elsewhere during the offseason. The addition of Pavelski and Perry give the Stars much needed depth and can take some of the workload off of the overworked first line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov.
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Defensively, in 2019, The Stars showed much promise. They finished second in the league behind the New York Islanders for allowing the second-fewest goals against (just 200!). Dallas also allowed the fifth-fewest power play goals against and finished the year with the fifth-best penalty killing unit which had an 82.77 percent success rate on the kill. They ran with the middle of the pack when it came to allowing shots but the team collectively had the second-best save percentage in the league at .923.
Not much changed in the offseason for the Stars when it came to the backend and nothing really needed to. The team added veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera to the team and also signed Roman Polak to an extension. The team also boasts one of the most exciting top-pairings in the league in John Klingberg and Esa Lindell. Although limited to only 64 games last season, Klingberg still impressively netted ten goals and finished with 45 points on the season. In only his third year in the NHL, Lindell played upwards of 24 minutes per game and finished with 32 points and was a +14. But don’t let that fool you. The Stars are still coming into the new season with an overall intimidating defense core that includes 6 foot, 7 inch Jamie Oleksiak and the aforementioned Roman Polak who averages over 200 hits per season. Expect the Stars to be dangerous across all 200 feet of the ice surface.
During the ups and downs the Stars did have last season, it was goaltender Ben Bishop that kept them in contention all season long. As mentioned earlier, the team had the second-best collective save percentage in the league. Much of that is due to Bishop who finished with a record of 27-15-2. He had a .934 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.98. He also had seven of the team’s ten shutouts. Backing him up last season was Anton Khudobin. Khudobin went 16-17-5 with a save percentage of .923 and a GAA of 2.57.
Much of the same is expected next season as this goaltending tandem remains intact. Last season Bishop finished with career-high statistics and finished as the runner-up for the Vezina award. Should Bishop stay healthy, it could be expected that he will start more than the 46 games he played last year. And, in Bishop’s absences, the .923 save percentage sustained by Khudobin last season means the Stars can breathe relief should Bishop become unavailable.
Projected to get first-pairing defense minutes, this could be the year of Esa Lindell. Expected to play alongside all-star defenseman John Klingberg, Lindell could see his point production continue to rise. Klingberg is in the same category as defensemen such as Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns and if even a modicum of that mojo rubs off on Lindell then he should be in for a career year in 2020.
Over the past several weeks, Dallas has come up as a contender in the eyes of the oddsmakers. They now sit within the top-five teams with the best odds to win. Dallas is a +1300 favorite to win the Stanley Cup 2020. The O/U for the season points total sits at 99.5. They are a -305 to make the playoffs this season and a +235 to miss.
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