NHL Free Agency is here with the Dallas Stars making as big of a splash as they can. New players join the mix as the Stars make moves to bolster their roster.
Grizzled veterans and re-signing young talent put the Stars in a good spot for next season.
This past week has Stars fans asking if these new additions are enough to win the Stanley Cup. There is also a serious salary cap problem, along with concerns about an elite player’s career. Here is what happened over the past few days.
Welcome to the Stars Luke Glendening, Ryan Suter, Jani Hakanpää, Braden Holtby, and Andreas Borgman, among others. These are the big acquisitions by the Stars this offseason, and some of them are surprising. Glendening is a utility player that can provide some offense as a bottom-six forward. The Stars went for Suter after the Minnesota Wild bought out his contract. Suter is a gamble because of the contract length. His 4-year contract will put him on the team until age 40. He still is a great defenseman that will provide veteran leadership to the blue line. The Stars have one of the best defensive cores in the game. Adding Borgman means the current and future defensive core look great also.
Braden Holtby signing with the team caught everyone by surprise. His rumors went under the radar, but this Stanley Cup winner is now on the Stars. This brings to light how bad Ben Bishop’s injuries may be. This may be more serious than we all thought. He has a long history of injuries highlighted by missing all of last season. Holtby is coming to help the tandem of Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger that sat in the net all last season. Bishop is an elite goaltender with unfortunate injury problems plaguing his career. The Stars have options should Bishop not be ready.
The Stars have the 2nd highest salary cap in the NHL; Dallas is nearly $2 million over the spending ceiling they have for the regular season.
One problem is the future of restricted free agent Joel Kiviranta who remains unsigned. We have not seen his full potential yet after playing overtime hero in Game 7 of the Second Round two seasons ago. They might get some assistance if they move Bishop to LTIR (Long-term Injured Reserve). This will clear up space to re-sign Kiviranta and be under the salary cap.
The young players like Nicolas Caamano, Colton Point, and Rhett Gardner also got extensions. Perhaps the biggest item on the offseason checklist already happened. Miro Heiskanen is a captain in the making. The Stars got him until 2029, so get ready for the decade of the Miro.
Now the question that Stars fans have asked every year since 1999 is this the team that wins the Stanley Cup?
We got spoiled in 2020 when they made it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years. Although it wasn’t in front of fans, the Stars got so close to winning it all.
The Stars should go into the next season with expectations of winning the Stanley Cup. Any team not expecting to win the Stanley Cup every year is selling themselves short.
There is no question that this team has lots of talent.
This city is aching for another championship, and the Stars have a team to go all the way.
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