Dallas Stars: A look back and a glimpse to the future

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 26: Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars is congratulated by his teammates (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 26: Corey Perry #10 of the Dallas Stars is congratulated by his teammates (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Despite their considerable mood swings, the Dallas Stars are trending upwards.

I hadn’t gotten a chance to pen a proper postscript to this most improbable season for the Dallas Stars. Of course, they ultimately fell just short of the Stanley Cup, but I do not think that diminishes their accomplishment one bit. In fact, in all of my years of following this team, I’m 100% sure this has been my favorite one to follow.

That’s not to take anything away from the Cup contenders from back in that heyday. The thing about those teams, however, was that they were supposed to be there. And sure, the 2008 squad was an amazingly fun group to get behind en route to their out-of-nowhere berth in the West Finals.

But the 2019-20 version of Dallas Stars’ hockey is one for this franchise’s record book. Not only for the peaks and valleys in the regular season itself, but also for the four-month, pandemic-induced stoppage in play. Throw in the way the Stars found their game and dramatically marauded through the Western Conference side of the bracket, and you have an endearing bunch to swell with pride over.

The thing about these Stars in this season was that they finally looked like that blend of youthful energy and veteran talent that’s so critical to playoff success. We’ve been hearing it around this area for years regarding this organization. They wanted to be a puck possession team and hard to play against. For the most part, we got to see that, and it nearly paid off with a championship.

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In a sports world where the common refrain from a fan base is “What have you done for us lately?”, the Dallas Stars can now point to the last two seasons as the fruit of their labors. Not only did they come a double overtime goal away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals in 2018-19, they pushed through and made a legitimate run at a title a year later. The future is never guaranteed, but past results suggest that this team is ascending. It’s hard to believe, given all the drama this team courts on a regular basis. But through it all, the end result of the last two seasons has been better than the previous campaign. We haven’t been able to say that about them in years.

Further, it doesn’t look like there will be many changes moving forward. Hired gun Corey Perry is set to test the free agency waters. Center Mattias Janmark has signed with Chicago as an unrestricted free agent. I wish him well. From a front office standpoint, you have to assume the team will take care of young guns and restricted free agents Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov. Even folk hero goalie Anton Khudobin decided to re-sign and keep the goaltending tandem with Ben Bishop intact. All signs point to (mostly) keeping the band together and making another run next year.

Next. Dallas Mavericks: 3 Possible Free Agent Acquisitions. dark

So this is probably the last time I’ll mention the Dallas Stars in this space for a while, barring something incredibly newsworthy. Plus, given the fact that we’re still not sure when next season will start, it will be some time before we get any word on training camps or how anything is going to play out. In the meantime, we have the memories of an incredible run and the promise of what is to come.

  • Published on 10/19/2020 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 10/19/2020 at 06:29 AM