Judging by the recent acquisitions made this off season by the Dallas Stars, they have learned from their mistakes. Last summer they felt they needed an impact signing to help solidify the team as a Stanley Cup contender. That impact signing turned out to be Sean Avery which ultimately was a catastrophic blunder. Avery didn’t even last until Christmas, and was asked to leave the team while the Stars had to eat his salary before shipping him back to New York.
The Stars could have easily panicked after missing the playoffs this year and tried to dismantle the team. However it looks as if they realize, when healthy, this is a strong team that just needs to add some depth. An injury filled season will always exploit areas that need to be reinforced or upgraded.
Looking at last season it was clear the team had a lot of talent up front. Re-signing Jere Lehtinen was a wise move as it gives them two or three solid lines that can produce. The emergence of players like James Neal, Loui Eriksson, and Fabian Brunnstrom will make it tough for teams to line match against the Stars.
Defensively at times was where the team was exposed. There is a lot of potential in the Stars young defense but when Zubov went down the inexperience really showed. By adding Karlis Skrastins and Jeff Woywitka they address those needs as both are steady experienced players.
Adding backup goalie Alex Auld between the pipes won’t make too many headlines but it was an outstanding move for the Stars. A proven goalie who will give Marty Turco some much needed rest as he played 74 games last year. That is way too many as Marty looked worn down late in the season.
Joe Nieuwendyk has done a great job so far understanding and tweaking the solid team he has inherited. Not an easy task for a rookie General Manager but judging by the recent signings he has addressed the main areas of concern for the Stars. The moves are not blockbusters by any means but they address the areas of concern.
Many teams can learn from the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. After losing to the Detroit Red Wings the year before they didn’t really make any huge moves that summer and they even lost Marian Hossa. They had confidence in the team they had and made a few key additions at the deadline which propelled them to the Stanley Cup.
Ultimately, sometimes it’s the moves you don’t make that can make all the difference.