As we discussed in an earlier article, there is a lot that can happen this summer to determine how the 2021-2022 season will look for the Dallas Stars. While the previous article previewed the best case scenarios, here we will talk about the worst. This upcoming season is a big one for the Stars. They have many key players nearing the end of their contracts and others who are in the last part of their careers. Expectations will be high but there remains a lot of business to take care of before the puck drops.
Although it is unlikely that all of these things will happen in the following way, they are all possibilities and it is important to see both sides of how this summer could play out.
How can it all go wrong for the Dallas Stars this summer?
Injuries have been possibly the hottest topic for the Dallas Star dating back to the 2019 playoffs. They have been decimated by them in crucial times including late in their 2020 Stanley Cup Final run and during the shortened 2021 season. Key players such as Roope Hintz, Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov, Joel Hanley, Radek Faksa, and Ben Bishop are all coming off of injuries that forced them to miss some time. Each player is expected to be fully healthy at the start of training camp this September, which is the good news. The bad news scenario here is pretty simple.
Having one of those players not ready for camp can be a huge blow to the roster as well as the mental state of the team. If they were to start the year without multiple players like they did in 2020, it would be devastating to a team that went through it all last season. It is also possible that players who had surgeries like Seguin, Bishop, Hanley, and Radulov could have complications in their recovery.
Seguin did return for three games and played well in 2020 but admitted that he was not at 100 percent and needs to push his recovery further this summer. Bishop already had his share of complications as he watched his April return timetable come and go only to be shut down for the entire season after missing nearly every game in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Radulov played in only 11 games all season and along with Hanley, had surgery to repair a core muscle injury, a common injury among hockey players, especially forwards. The hope is that all players will be ready to go at the beginning of training camp and perhaps luck will finally be on their side here.
The Seattle Kraken also hold a lot of power in their hands this offseason. When they select one player from each NHL club (excluding Vegas) this July, they could be removing key players from multiple cities. The Stars would love for Seattle to select Anton Khudobin or a younger prospect but it seems more likely that an important player will be the prime choice. While losing Jason Dickinson is not a franchise-shifting loss, it does hurt the team. Dickinson provides the ability to play up and down all four lines and in all situations throughout a game.
However, I believe that the absolute worst case for the Stars in goal would be if Seattle chose to select Anton Khudobin which was then followed by Ben Bishop not being ready to return from injury. The Stars would go from one of the best goalie rooms in the league to starting a 22-year-old rookie and frantically searching for a backup on the free-agent market. Although Oettinger impressed last season, the Stars would prefer to have more time before he becomes their only option.
In my mind, the absolute worst thing that could happen for this team this summer would be to lose Miro Heiskanen to free agency. The young Finnish defenseman’s entry-level contract will expire this summer and the organization is desperate to find a deal that keeps him around. The deal could range between a bridge deal of about three years or a large extension of seven or eight. While it is the most unlikely scenario, anything can happen when it comes to contract negotiations and the loss of Miro would be catastrophic to the club.
There you have it, the pessimist’s guide to the 2021 offseason for the Dallas Stars.
For the sake of the organization and all of its fans, let’s hope they avoid as many of the above scenarios as possible.
- Published on 06/16/2021 at 11:52 AM
- Last updated at 06/16/2021 at 11:52 AM