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Where Did June Go?

Wednesday, 06.25.2008 / 4:46 PM CT / Feature
By Seamus O'Callahan  - Hockey Historian
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Where Did June Go?

Holy cow! How in the world is it already the last week of June? Weren’t we just playing Game 6 vs. San Jose deep into the night in early May? Time sure does fly.

Hard to believe it, but the free agency period is almost upon us. You know – the time where we all wish for our hockey team to go out and spend oodles of money to land some of the top talent that is out there.

A
Seamus O'Callahan
h, the good ol days. Gone are the times where filling holes on your team was as easy as writing a check on July 1. With the new salary cap era, hockey GM’s have to be wiser and have a look towards the future with every move.

But this is where Les Jackson and Brett Hull have earned their contracts that made them permanent co-GM’s.  The two have made some solid moves over the last eight months that have placed the team in a very good position to not have to be very active on July 1.

Mike Ribeiro – signed in early January through 2013, locking him up as a Star and preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent next week.

Steve Ott and Nicklas Grossman  – both signed in April through 2010.

Trevor Daley – signed last month to a deal through 2011.

Toby Petersen – signed through 2010.

And of course, Brad Richards – traded for in February to give the Stars depth at center and leadership.

The Richards deal is clearly a huge cog in the Stars’ plans for next season and the future. He just turned 28 in May and some of his best hockey is ahead of him. Sure, his contract is a little hefty but to get a player of Richards’ caliber in free agency would equal a large sum of money anyway (and he was unavailable unless you made a trade for him). Plus he’s under contract through 2011.

Then Les and Brett go out and nab 23-year-old Fabian Brunnström in May, winning his signature on a free agent contract over the likes of Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, Anaheim and Vancouver. Brunnström helps ease the pain of not having a number one pick in the draft last weekend, as he is expected to play in the NHL this coming season. Word has it that Mr. Brunnström would have been a first round selection had he been inserted in this year’s draft.

Fabian Brunnström
These moves have set the Stars up to enter the 2008-09 season with a focus on building on their success from this past season. In other words – Les and Brett have done much of the hard work already to give the Stars their best chance of winning.

So you can expect somewhat of a quiet July 1 period for the Dallas Stars. Oh, the phones will be active and inquiries will be made. But the Stars won’t be one of the teams out there spending some big bucks to lure top free agents.

They don’t have to.

So what are the Stars interested in? Well, as one good friend once told me, “You should always be interested in being interested.” Les and Brett will do their homework and be ready for anything. But chances are they will be most interested in picking up some help for the third line and possibly another defenseman for depth.

We’ll come back tomorrow with a closer look at which teams around the league have some decisions to make and who might be hitting the unrestricted free agent market on July 1.


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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82
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