The Dallas Stars missed the postseason by only a few games this season. Next season the Stars have to compete with three teams that made the playoffs in their division alone. While a postseason appearance is their main goal, here are the top six reasons why the Dallas Stars will be a threat to win the Stanley Cup.
Jamie Benn is entering his fourth season in the NHL. He has improved on his stats every year and registered career highs in goals and assists despite missing nine games last season. If the Stars can add some offensive depth in free agency, then it won’t be out of the realm of possibility for Benn to post 30 goals and 45 assists.
Michael Ryder had an impact in Dallas that nobody expected. At 32 and in a contract year, Ryder should have a strong offensive output as he tries to secure what may be his last big contract. That incentive, along with every player’s urge to win a championship, should make Ryder an impact player for the Stars yet again.
The biggest reason why the Stars have a chance to win the cup is Tom Gaglardi. He adds the biggest piece that the franchise has been missing, an owner. Gaglardi provides cash flow for the team which means they can pursue big-name free agents and put the best possible team on the ice.
General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk did a solid job in free agency last year when he had a small budget to work with. With the new ownership in place, he will be like a teenager in the mall with daddy’s credit card. The Stars will no longer have to sift through lower-tier free agents in hopes of finding a gem. If Nieuwendyk can sign one or two key free agents, it will be enough to get Dallas over the hump and into the postseason.
Former Stars general manager, head coach and Hall of Famer Bob Gainey signed as a consultant with the Stars this offseason. Gainey was the architect of the Stars' 1999 Stanley Cup winning team, so he knows what it takes to build a championship roster. His vast knowledge of the NHL, which includes a resume of six championships, will help Joe Nieuwedyk tremendously.
The last reason the Stars are a threat to win the Stanley Cup next year would be the Los Angeles Kings. This year the Kings proved that all you have to do is get into the playoffs and you have a shot to win it all. The Stars were in the playoff hunt until the last week of the season, so they aren’t too far away from making a run at Lord Stanley's Cup.