Last season the Dallas Stars took on the name “Pesky Stars” which summarized the team’s general mentality and style of play. They were going to be tough, mentally and physically. They would refuse to give up, fighting for victory every game. They would try to make teams hate to play them. They would be gritty, ugly and hard-working. Their team has been built as such the past. The Stars’ 1999 Stanley Cup-winning team was loaded with talent as well as pesky players. And the team played with a gritty, hard-working, “never give up” mentality.
The Stars seem to be moving away from the pesky style and changing their roster to a more talented, creative and quick make up. The Stars signed skilled Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney in the summer and added speedsters Cody Eakin and Derek Roy through trades. Last summer, the Stars signed skilled scorer Michael Ryder to be in their top 6. An infusion of young talent has also arrived with Radek Faksa and Reilly Smith among others fighting for a roster spot on offense. Jordie Benn, Brenden Dillon and Jamie Oleksiak are auditioning for a starting role with the big club as well and Philip Larsen seems as though he may have won himself a spot with his play last season.
What does this mean for the Stars’ future? I believe they are better positioning themselves for success in the present and the future. Their current mix of old talent, prime skill and young speed sets themselves up to challenge for a playoff spot now and paves the way for more youngsters to earn spots in the lineup over the next two seasons as a changing of the guard takes place. Over the next two or three seasons, it is reasonable to believe Jagr, Whitney, Brenden Morrow and Stephane Robidas might not be on the Stars’ roster. If so, they could be replaced with young players currently skating for the Texas Stars in the AHL.
Below is a list of players over the last two seasons that fit the “Pesky Stars” moniker, all of which have not been re-signed or have been traded prior to the start of the upcoming season.
- Mark Fistric- Traded to Edmonton Oilers for 2013 3rd round pick on January 14, 2013.
- Steve Ott and Adam Pardy- Traded to Buffalo Sabres for Derek Roy on July 2, 2012.
- Sheldon Souray- Left through free agency. Signed with Anaheim Ducks on July 1, 2012.
- Jake Dowell- Left through free agency. Signed with Minnesota Wild on July 3, 2012.
- Adam Burish- Left through free agency. Signed with San Jose on July 2, 2012.
- Nicklas Grossman- Traded to Philadelphia Flyers on February 16, 2012 for 2012 2nd round pick and a 3rd round pick in 2013.
- Krys Barch (and a 2012 6th round pick)- Traded on December 7, 2011 to Florida Panthers for Jake Hauswirth and 2012 5th round pick
- Brandon Segal- Left through free agency. Signed with Chicago Blackhawks on August 31, 2011.
- Jamie Langenbrunner- Left through free agency. Signed with St. Louis Blues on July 6, 2011.
- Brian Sutherby- Left through free agency and remains unsigned
- Radek Dvorak- Left through free agency and remains unsigned