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Adam Pardy, Steve Ott, Mike Ribiero and possibly Brenden Morrow gone from the team that was within a whisper of a playoff berth the last two years.
Pardy was the only one that did not give fit to their rival and top dog in the Pacific Division, the San Jose Sharks. Still, the new direction can be justified by four straight playoffs without any of them.
But when you are a team near bankruptcy and you are want to go in a new direction, your roster should usually get younger. Instead, the Stars replaced four players between the ages of 28 and 33 with two players over 40.
Jaromir Jagr had a great season in his return to the NHL from Russia, but he will turn 41 before next year's trade deadline. It is hard to imagine him maintaining a level of play for an entire season that would warrant a contract of over $4.5 million.
Ray Whitney had a great season, with 77 points in 82 games. He was the 26th-best player and 14th-best forward in goals versus threshold, which measures a player's impact over a typical minor-league replacement. (Goalies occupied 11 of the top 25 spots.)
This season was almost an exact replica of his 2008-09 campaign (24 goals, 53 assists in 82 games), but better because this time plus-26 rather than plus-2.
However, as a player even approaches 40, the mileage racks up and injuries become more prevalent. This can cause missed action or dropped production. In the two years between his 77-point seasons, Whitney had fewer than 60 points. By the time the playoffs roll around, his 41st birthday looming suggests he is likely to be a weak link on the second line.