Dallas missed the playoffs by 15 points last season, but their offseason moves have put the league on notice. The Stars stayed true to their name by adding several star players this offseason. The Stars signature move was acquiring G Ben Bishop from the LA Kings and signing him to a six year, $29.5 million contract. Bishop looks to shore up the goalie position which drastically needed help last season. The tandem of Kari Lehtonen and Antti Neimi (who signed with Pittsburgh) struggled mightily, posting a SV% of .899. Bishop has a career SV% of .919 and has playoff experience, helping Tampa Bay reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2015.
The Stars also strengthened their blue line with the addition of D Marc Methot from the Vegas Golden Knights. Methot, who played with Ottawa in 2017, is a true defensive defenseman. He picked up 4.2 Defensive Point Shares while playing on a defensive paring with superstar Erik Karlsson. At 32, Methot brings a veteran presence to Dallas’ locker room. The Stars also used the #3 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft on their defense, drafting D Miro Heiskanen from Finland. The 18 year old is not expected to make the roster right away, but with a strong camp, Heiskanen could contribute to Dallas sooner rather than later.
Dallas also added to their already potent offense by signing RW Alexander Radulov and C Martin Hanzal. Radulov comes from Montreal where he posted 54 points in 76 games. Radulov posted 6.2 Total Point Shares in his time with Montreal. He also contributed a iCorsi/60 of 12.21. Hanzal split time between Minnesota and Arizona last season, tallying 39 points in total. Both Radulov and Hanzal are projected to play on Dallas’ top 2 lines. With Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin already on the roster, the Stars offense should be a force in 2017-18.
Finally, the Stars turned to a familiar face to fill the vacancy behind the bench. Ken Hitchcock returns to Dallas after being fired by St. Louis. Hitchcock coached the Stars from 1995-2002, where he won the franchise’s only Stanley Cup in 1999. The Stars hope the 65 year old coach has enough magic left in him for another run at the famous trophy.
The Stars are not a team to take lightly. With the goaltending situation finally fixed, a strengthen defense core, and a powerful offense, Dallas looks to be a serious contender entering the season. Time will tell if offseason hype turns into real game results.