There was a lot of activity in Dallas during the free agency period. Several players departed Dallas to enjoy their careers elsewhere, but a few players headed to Dallas to pull on a Stars jersey.
GM Joe Nieuwendyk surprised a lot of Dallas Stars fans as well as a lot of fans across the NHL in early July. He managed to work some magic and bring Czech legend Jaromir Jagr to Texas. The deal was announced on July 3rd 2012, and was worth a reported $4.5million.
I am really hoping that a deal is made and the lockout won’t occur. Jagr is on a one-year deal and the 2012/13 could be the only chance to see him in a Stars shirt. He will also be massive to the hopeful success on the ice. I expect him to form a formidable first line alongside Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson. Jagr is superb at puck distribution, and if Jamie and Loui can get themselves in the right positions, we could see a lot of goals from this line. Jagr has a massive 988 assists in the NHL, he will certainly develop the game of his peers.
Another big addition for the Stars was center man Derek Roy. He was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in a trade involving Steve Ott and Adam Pardy. It is as simple as this: Roy was acquired to be a top 6 forward and replace Mike Ribeiro who departed to the Washington Capitals.
The Ottawa native will bring a lot to Dallas. With over 500 games to his name, the 29-year-old brings a lot of experience, and also has the ability to be a relatively big points scorer, scoring 60+ points on 4 occasions.
Another asset of his game is the crucial one for me, and this is his ability to perform on the power play. The Stars’ power play was average at best last season. It lacked structure and rhythm, managing to score just 33 goals throughout the season. I am hoping that this is an area of the game that they will be working hard on in training camp. Roy will be an integral part of this, and if the power play can get going, the team will benefit with positive results.
The third big addition was of Ray Whitney from the Phoenix Coyotes. He is another experienced player and a points scorer as well. This is a great addition for Dallas. He has well over 1000 appearances in the NHL and over 1000 points. He is getting on a bit, aged 40, but he is still a great hockey player.
I think that Whitney will help form the second line alongside Michael Ryder and Derek Roy. These guys might take a bit of time to gel, but if they get going I think they will bring the best out of each other. The Stars lacked depth last season, and a lot of scoring was done by the first line. 2012/13 will be different, the second line will take a lot of pressure off of the first line, and should benefit the team as a whole.
With other new recruits including Cody Eakin and Aaron Rome, and some promising draft picks, the Stars are starting to look like a decent outfit for next season!