The Dallas Stars are a team in search of themselves after the 2021-22 season. Mind you, the Stars entered last year’s regular season with little illusions of hoisting the Stanley Cup come June but they did clinch a wild card berth into the postseason. Those postseason hopes were dashed in overtime of Game Seven in the first round at the hands of the Calgary Flames.
The biggest offseason move made by the Stars changed the face and direction of the coaching staff by bringing in former Vegas Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer. Gone are the days when Rick Bowness attempted to right the Stars ship after the Montgomery disaster back in late 2019. In an ironic twist, Bowness supposedly stepped down voluntarily from the Stars coaching helm after last and returned to his early coaching roots by recently taking over the same position with the Winnipeg Jets-a Central Division foe for the Stars.
Enter Peter DeBoer in Dallas. If you’re a hockey fan and even casually follow the NHL, DeBoer’s name should be pretty familiar since he’s been the head coach of five different NHL teams in his coaching career. DeBoer led both the New Jersey Devils and the San Jose Sharks to the Stanley Cup finals (2012 and 2106, respectively) and with his last stint in Las Vegas DeBoer took the brand-new Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup finals in the 2017-18 season.
The Golden Knights missed the playoffs this past season and as the hockey planets aligned just right, Pete DeBoer has found himself in Dallas. It should be noted that these Stars were recently in the same Stanley Cup finals after the Covid-19 disaster known as the 2020 season, so recent success with a team and a new head coach prone to success may be in the cards this season.
What can we expect from the Stars in 2022-23?
If the Stars hope to make the playoffs this season and have a fighting chance for relevancy past the first round, new head coach Pete DeBoer needs to expect more out of big payroll players such as Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Seguin had a solid season last year while Benn had one of the lowest goal scoring years in recent memory with the Stars (18 goals.) As two of the most expensive players on the Stars salary cap, the fans in Dallas rightly should expect a great year out of these two veterans.
Defensively, John Klingberg is gone after a terrible year after spending his entire career with the Stars. The Stars are also waiting on defenseman Miro Heiskanen to live up to his potential as well as the offensive-minded defender only accumulated 36 points in 70 game appearances in 2022-23. Jake Oettinger returns as the Stars netminder and he had a brilliant playoff series against the Calgary Flames. With Oettinger firmly protecting the pipes, the Stars have found their goalie for the conceivable future and Oettinger has found himself ranked as high as the top ten in NHL goalies heading into training camp this year.
Overall, the Stars look to at least make the playoffs this season with another wild card as a possibility. With a new head coach coming in who’s had success in this league, the Stars may use this as an impetus to move up to the next level. The DeBoer “magic” may not rub off immediately but this is a team that only recently played for Lord Stanley’s cup in the finals. I’m not normally a betting man but the Dallas Stars should be a decent bet to make the postseason again this year – if they can stay healthy and get more production out of their top players like Benn and Seguin.
Stars season prediction: 48-24-12.