You look at teams from an overall standpoint and you recognize them by their superstars as the faces of the franchises.
The Edmonton Oilers have Connor McDavid, the Pittsburg Penguins have Sidney Crosby and the Capitals have Ovechkin, but no one player stands out for the Stars; just like they planned.
For years and years and years, Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Neil has taken criticism for his unaggressive trade deadline activity and short, inexpensive and modest free agency signings and seemingly low-key draft picks, but that has slowly built what the Stars hockey team is today.
They are led by All-Star forwards in Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski on the offensive end, have a grit and experience from the tandem of Andrew Cogliano, Blake Comeau and Mattias Janmark, quick offensive-minded youngsters in Denis Gurianov, Roope Hintz and John Klingberg, are loaded with smart, well-taught and trained defensemen in Andrej Sekera, Roman Polak, Esa Lindell, Stephen Johns, and Miro Heiskanen and the two guys between the pipes, Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin are two of the game’s most elite goaltenders.
This team is filled with players that most general managers would want to team around, and that is exactly what the Stars’ front office has done.
It hasn’t always been glamorous with big-name signings or massive trades, but it doesn’t have to always be that way. It is whatever gets the job done.
When you head into matchups against normal teams, the main goal is to usually stop the best player or line on that team. You can double team and trap the best player(s), which makes the team’s next tier of players to be the ones that have to step up and beat you.
When you play the Dallas Stars, you need to worry about almost everyone.
You have to be mindful of their first line that features at least two All-Stars on the ice at one time, the second and third lines that are filled with lighting fast forwards and rock-solid defenders at the blue line, the always dangerous FCC Line in Faksa, Comeau and Cogliano and the ever-changing fourth line that is a mix between tactical veterans and gritty wingers.
No, the Stars have never had a giant offseason signing that made headlines on a national scale. No, they aren’t one of the huge hockey towns or markets in the National Hockey League.
Slow and steady eventually wins the race, and the Dallas are in the driver’s seat of their own destiny as they currently sit tied atop the Western Conference and Central Division Standings with the reigning-Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues.
Get ready for a tight playoff race, hockey fans. This one will be good.
Featured Image: Dallas Morning News