Francois Beauchemin (#23) and Loui Eriksson (#21)

A Look Into the Pacific Division: Dallas Stars

Continuing our look into the fellow Pacific Division teams. Today we will look at the Dallas Stars who lost possibly the biggest free agent over the off season in Brad Richards, but added a few pieces to try to plug up the hole that he has left.

 Losses:

- Brad Richards: The Dallas Stars’ leading scorer from last season departed Dallas over the off season for the Big Apple and the New York Rangers. Richards was the center of Dallas’ offense, as well as quarterbacking the power play.

- Jamie Langenbrunner: Player with immense talent and very good leadership abilities, but never seemed to fit in this second time around in Dallas. He signed as an unrestricted free agent with the St. Louis Blues.

- Karlis Skrastins: Solid, veteran defender played in 74 games for the Stars last season, including some valuable time on the penalty kill. He signed with Lokomotiv of the KHL and will likely finish his career there after completing his 12th season in the NHL last season.

Gained:

- Michael Ryder: Ryder was a huge key in the Boston Bruins championship last year, tallying 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 25 playoff games. He will be placed on one of the top two lines for the Stars and be a valuable asset on the power play.

- Vernon Fiddler: Versatile center that adds depth to the Stars offense and defense. He is an excellent two-way player who can help kill penalties and win faceoffs.

- Sheldon Souray: Signed with the Dallas Stars after the Edmonton Oilers bought out the final year of his contract. He was an elite defenseman before being plagued with injuries last season, but if healthy can be a very good defenseman with a booming shot from the point.

Overview:

After just barely missing the playoffs last season, their third straight season of not making the playoffs, the Stars look ready to finally make the playoffs this season. Even after losing Brad Richards, the Stars added enough players to their already solid core to make them a serious contender for a playoff spot. However, they will have to get through arguably the most competitive division in the NHL in the Pacific Division. Loui Eriksson will have to be the new leader for the Stars offense, and I think he is more than capable of doing that. He has tremendous offensive instincts and is a very skilled scorer. Brendan Morrow is still going to be the anchor in the locker room however. One of the most underrated players in the league, he showed what he can do in the Olympics a few years ago. Along with prolific scorer Mike Ribeiro, and rising stars Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski, the Stars will be a very dangerous team this upcoming season.

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