#3: Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars are completely redesigned for the 2013-14 season, changing everything from their General Manager, to their logo. The Stars are ready to make it to the post-season for the first time in 5 years. Owner Tom Gaglardi is under pressure to have at least a trip to the post-season soon, so the Stars are looking like a much better team heading into the season.
The new look starts in the front office, with new GM Jim Nill taking over. Nill has already made some great moves for the club, and knows that time is of the essence if the Stars want to get into contention. The Stars will also have a new boss behind the bench, the experienced Lindy Ruff. Ruff had great success with the Buffalo Sabres in the early years of his career, and is looking to start a new chapter with a young team.
The roster will look substantially different as well. Kari Lethonen will remain the team’s starting goaltender, but Dan Ellis will be the new man behind him. The blue-line got a huge boost with the addition of veteran Sergei Gonchar, but will miss 2003 first-round pick Loui Eriksson. Up front, the Stars made their biggest addition at center, acquiring Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins, as well as Rich Peverley. Seguin has slumped in the last two seasons after recording career highs in 2011, but hopes a fresh start in Dallas will help him reach that mark. With Shawn Horcoff also at the pivot position, the Stars look to put a lot more pucks in the net.
A new-look Central Division stands in their way of a playoff spot, with the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks and strong St. Louis Blues expected to lead the way. The Stars can definitely sneak in to the post-season in the third spot, but will have to do battle with the likes of the Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets.
This many moves in only a few short months means its ‘go time’ in Dallas. The lone star state is ready to return to playoff action, and all of this off-season magic is expected to translate into regular-season success. If it doesn’t, however, even more changes could be on the way.