Dallas Stars Get Respect With Offseason MovesBy Allen Moody
After not making the playoffs in the 2016-17 NHL season, the Dallas Stars vowed that wouldn’t happen next year. It’s hard to disagree, as the team went out and picked-up some quality players. Names like Ben Bishop, Alexander Radulov, Martin Hanzal and Marc Methot. And Ken Hitchcock is returning as head coach. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are back.
While the moves will make Dallas better, how much so? Plenty if you ask Las Vegas oddsmakers, as the Stars are +1200 to win the Stanley Cup. That’s tied with Chicago for the second lowest odds of any Western Conference team. Lower than Anaheim and Nashville. And lower than Washington, Columbus and Toronto from the East. That’s asking a lot. The Stars were just 34-37-11 last season. That’s 34 wins and 48 losses. Not exactly what you would consider Stanley Cup material.
But the Dallas Stars are likely the most improved team in the league. Whether that’s enough to make a playoff run remains to be seen.
While Pittsburgh is favored, the Penguins won’t have an easy time. Other teams in the division are getting better. A case can be made each team in the Metropolitan improved except Pittsburgh and Washington. While the Penguins don’t have to win the division to win the Cup, being beat up entering the playoffs isn’t ideal. But that’s looking to be the nature of the division.
For those wondering, the Vegas Golden Knights are +10000. The same as Colorado, New Jersey, Detroit, Vancouver and Arizona. Not exactly the best company to keep. But you have to expect a few growing pains for a new franchise. And Vegas may have a few more than normal. The team made too many poor trades during the expansion draft. Not taking a good player in exchange for a second round pick isn’t the way to be competitive early on.