The 2021 NHL Season is over and now the offseason kicks into gear. The Dallas Stars have lots to do in a short amount of time. Time is ticking with signs pointing to an 82-game season for the first time in two seasons. Challenges await, especially with a new “old” division and opponents. The quest for the 2022 Stanley Cup begins now with the Expansion Draft, Entry Draft, and Free Agency market coming up.
The Stars are no longer in the same division as the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The Stars now have a new division rival in the struggling Arizona Coyotes. Arizona moves to the Central as the Seattle Kraken enters the league in the Pacific Division for an even eight all around. The Stars rejoin the old division alongside the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks. Despite playing the Lightning only two times per year from now, the animosity towards that team is not going away anytime soon. This of course is tentative to the non-pandemic season format.
Jim Nill must submit his Expansion Draft protection list on or by July 17. It’s up to the front office to determine who gets protected and who will have a chance of heading up to Seattle. By rule, the Stars must protect Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Esa Lindell, Alexander Radulov, and Ben Bishop. One player is heading to Seattle and Anton Khudobin may have played his final game as a Dallas Star. The Expansion Draft is at 7 pm CDT on July 21.
Unlike in 2017, the Stars did not move up in the Entry Draft selection order. The Stars will select 14th in the upcoming draft.
11 am CDT on July 28 kicks off Free Agent Frenzy. Plenty of players are available, especially ones that shouldn’t burn a hole into the salary cap wallet. Plano native Blake Coleman is a great value player the Stars might want to look into. Free Agency is a time to build the future squad so it’s important to get the right players. There is plenty to add to the current lineup for next season.
The offseason is a short turnaround time as the Stanley Cup Final just ended on Wednesday. One Stars player will be leaving the team for Seattle so say farewell to a fan favorite. The Stars may be close to winning a Stanley Cup so don’t expect such a major splash that drastically alters the franchise. Who knows, we recently passed 8 years since Tyler Seguin came to the team on July 4, 2013. The future of this team now rests in Nill’s hands. Stars fans should trust in his judgment with the old saying “In Nill We Trust.”
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars / Twitter