Stars: 3 Things to be Thankful For


The Dallas Stars have started the season off hot and have plenty to be thankful for. Here are three…

It’s finally Thanksgiving day, and while most people think of football, it’s also a good time to look at what’s going on in the NHL. So far, the Dallas Stars are off to their best start in franchise history (17-5-0) and many things are rolling in the right direction. In honor of the holiday we are celebrating today, here are three things for the Stars – and their fans – to be thankful for:

             1. The top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Sharp.

After the trade was made for Sharp this past summer, many started looking forward to seeing this trio together. At first, Lindy Ruff held out but eventually he gave in and these guys have been one of the main reasons the Stars are so good this year.

Jamie Benn is not reeling after winning the Art Ross last season, in fact, he might even be better. So far, he has registered 16 goals, the most in the NHL, and 16 assists. He has been competing with Patrick Kane for the points lead all season long and it looks like it should go down to the wire again.

Tyler Seguin is right on pace with Jamie Benn as he has 12 goals (1 hat trick) and 19 assists for 31 points. He is the third player in contention for the points lead right now and although he is having some trouble scoring at home, his road play makes up for it.

Patrick Sharp has proved to be the missing link for the Stars’ top line. Last season Lindy Ruff tried a few different players with Benn and Seguin (Valeri Nichushkin and Cody Eakin) but none of them had the chemistry that Sharp has with the NHL’s best duo. He has 8 goals and 10 assists this season and his physical, scrappy play has added a new dimension to the Stars’ offense.

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      2. The fact that John Klingberg is a legitimate defenseman.

Last season, John Klingberg busted onto the scene and secured a spot in the Dallas Stars’ lineup. Whether he was scoring goals from center ice or making electrifying passes, it was clear that he was different from other young players that had been brought up.

He is definitely not seeing a sophomore slump this season and looks improved, if anything. He has also made a knack of breaking up shorthanded situations or breakaways with his incredible positioning and stick work. Klingberg is being considered as a real threat to win the Norris Trophy (given to the best defenseman) and has been keeping pace with Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators so far this season.

The greatest thing about him is that he is only 23 years old and he has a fresh 7-year contract extension on board, meaning the Stars have him locked up for a while.

       3. Jim Nill, the general manager that helped all of this happen.

It started shortly after he took over as the general manager in April 2013. He traded for Tyler Seguin that summer, Jason Spezza in the summer of 2014 and Patrick Sharp in the summer of 2015. During those periods, he also managed to sign forward Ales Hemsky (2014) and defenseman Johnny Oduya (2015).

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All of his moves have paid off and not one has backfired on the team. He knows how to win the Stanley Cup in this position since he helped the Red Wings do it on four separate occasions and if he keeps things up, Dallas will be added to that list.

The Stars, as a team, have a lot to be thankful for but Nill is the most important of them all. If it wasn’t for him, they would certainly not be in this position today.