Social Networks
  • RSS

30 in 15: New faces, System Will Dictate Stars' Fate

Saturday, 09.21.2013 / 1:46 PM CT / News
By Tal Pinchevsky
Share with your Friends

30 in 15: New faces, System Will Dictate Stars\' Fate continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Few teams face more questions entering this season than the Dallas Stars. With major changes in the front office, coaching staff, roster and even their uniform, it will be intriguing to see how everything comes together for a team that was a force in the League for more than a decade but has failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2008.

Here are three things to watch in Dallas early in the 2013-14 season:

1. How fast can all these new pieces come together? -- New general manager Jim Nill made major changes up front and on the blue line, and he has made it clear the Stars will be looking for a number of their prospects to make the team. It's all part of an offseason makeover for a team that added three new centers: Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Shawn Horcoff. Sergei Gonchar, acquired from the Ottawa Senators and signed to a two-year contract, is expected to solidify the defense.

The task of turning all these parts into a team belongs to the new coaching staff. After spending 15 years behind the Buffalo Sabres' bench before being fired last season, Lindy Ruff was brought to Dallas to get the Stars back to the playoffs. He brought along assistant James Patrick from Buffalo, so the team should benefit from some continuity.

2. Can Lindy Ruff's system tilt the ice in the Stars' favor? -- Ruff became an institution in Buffalo by molding the Sabres into a team known for strong two-way play and hard work. He aims to do the same with the Stars, who could have used some of those Ruff-like qualities last season.

The Stars often appeared overmatched when it came to controlling the pace of the game. Only the Nashville Predators took fewer shots, and the Stars ranked 22nd in shots allowed. Dallas went 2-13-2 when trailing after one period, so this is a team that had difficulty wrestling momentum away from the opposition.

That's where Ruff hopes to change things.

"I think that there's no easy solution to any team becoming a good franchise. I think that takes a lot of hard work and discipline," Ruff told "I don't think you look at a team and think 'We need to fix this.' I think you've got to develop some consistency. You've got to develop a trust in the way you want to play and a commitment from players who want to play for one another. When you get that, it's a really powerful thing."

Ruff will benefit from having a full training camp to install his system, and from the beginning of camp he's made it clear he plans on molding a team that is aggressive up front and active on defense. How quickly his players adapt remains to be seen.

3. Will Tyler Seguin fulfill his potential in Dallas? -- Of all the Stars' offseason moves, the biggest was the acquisition of Seguin, the second player taken in the 2010 NHL Draft who showed flashes in his three seasons with the Boston Bruins of potentially becoming a franchise player. Those highlights, which include a Stanley Cup in 2011 and an All-Star appearance in 2012, were tempered by inconsistent play that landed him on the Bruins' third line through much of their run to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

With the trade to Dallas, Seguin, 21, is ready to start fresh and begin a new chapter in his career.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself. It's not just scoring a goal. There's a lot more things that come into it. I've learned that in my time," Seguin told "This is going to be a challenge, there's going to be some growing pains. I'm looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to overcoming that as a team. First and foremost, I'm just looking forward to earning the respect of my teammates and getting to know them."

Dallas certainly represents a new opportunity for Seguin. After spending much of his time in Boston playing the wing, he likely will move to center, his natural position, on the first line; he spent the beginning of training camp skating between Jamie Benn and Erik Cole. Seguin also voiced his intention to take on more of a leadership role, something that was difficult to do on a Boston team featuring plenty of veterans.

Ruff seemed pleased by Seguin's play during the first few days of camp.

"He's such a fluid skater. It's tough to get a read but I thought he handled the D-zone really well," Ruff said. "He makes things look effortless. He goes at a high pace but it looks a lot like he's not going at full speed."

Author: Tal Pinchevsky | Staff Writer




1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47


J. Benn 54 28 33 16 61
T. Seguin 54 28 30 11 58
J. Klingberg 54 9 35 15 44
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 54 16 24 -1 40
A. Goligoski 54 4 20 17 24
C. Eakin 54 10 13 1 23
M. Janmark 54 10 10 13 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 51 6 13 7 19
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 14 5 0 .909 2.82 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Corporate Partnerships | Contact UsPrivacy Policy | AdChoices | Job Opportunities | Terms of Use | Site Map | Find us on Google+