The Dallas Stars today announced their opening night roster.
The #TexasHockey Opening Night roster has arrived ?
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 11, 2021
The 23 players on the roster were as follows:
Oskar Back, Jamie Benn, Blake Comeau, Ty Dellandrea, Radek Faksa, Luke Glendening, Denis Gurianov, Roope Hintz, Tanner Kero, Joe Pavelski, Alexander Radulov, Michael Raffl, Jason Robertson, Tyler Seguin
Joel Hanley, Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg, Esa Lindell, Andrej Sekera, Ryan Suter
Braden Holtby, Anton Khudobin, Jake Oettinger
Unsurprisingly, Ben Bishop was put on LTIR. The goalie was stellar for the Stars over the first three years of his contract but has struggled with injury since the 2019-2020 playoffs. Right now it’s unclear whether he’ll play another NHL game. The Stars have kept Jake Oettinger on the opening night roster but assuming Holtby and Khudobin will share the net Oettinger will be seeing time in the net in Cedar Park soon.
The Stars made some surprising decisions, sending down Joel Kiviranta and Jacob Peterson (who has been outstanding during camp) while retaining Tanner Kero and Oscar Back. The choices made however seem to be rather more about being cap compliant on the opening night rather than due to individual play. For example, Kiviranta is waiver exempt while Tanner Kero is not. Jani Hakanpaa also remains on injured reserve due to a broken finger but should be ready to go soon.
Thankfully the Stars do not, yet, have the injury and covid decimations that they had last year, and with a relatively normal schedule have time to let players recover. The Central Division is probably the most competitive in the league this year. Many of the public models suggest the Colorado Avalanche will run away with the division, and the Arizona Coyotes will bring up the rear but it’s too close to call for the six teams in the middle. The Stars are going to need all hands on deck.
PHOTO: JEROME MIRON/REUTERS