Last time we talked about how the Dallas Stars had Jake Oettinger in net and what he brings to the Stars. This time we need to look at the flip side of that coin. Actually, lets talk about the middle of the coin. If Oettinger is a strength, he’s also a concern.
What’s the biggest concern for the Dallas Stars going into the season?
I know what you’re thinking. How can Oettinger be a concern if he’s a strength. Perhaps I should rephrase the original statement. The front office’s handling of Otter is a big concern.
As great as the 23 year old goalie was for the Dallas Stars last season, he is still a restricted free agent. This seems like a no-brained to me, and I can’t figure out for the life of me why he’s labeled as such. Now, that being said, I am not an expert on salary caps and contracts.
I do know Dallas has $10.3 million in cap space currently. Perhaps the most disturbing part is the fact that, not only is Jake Oettinger restricted, so is Jason Robertson. Obviously, restricted is better than unrestricted. For the life of me, though, I cannot figure this out. When you think about next year you Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov, Jacob Peterson and Marian Studenic will all be restricted free agents. Dallas needs to figure this out in a hurry.
Another concern for this team is the lack of scoring depth. Last season, their top line – Robertson, Hintz and Joe Pavelski – were nearly unstoppable. Those three led the team in goals and points. All three of them were also in the top four in assists. After them, things drop off quite a bit. Pavelski led the team with 81 points. Robertson had 79 and Hintz finished with 72. Fourth on that list is Tyler Seguin with 49.
Coincidentally, Seguin is the only player outside those three that scored at least 20 goals during the season. Jamie Benn only had 18 goals and 46 points. So if the restricted free agency issue is concern number one, then the lack of scoring depth has to be 1a. And I’m not sure they did much to address the offense in the off season. Another reason that it seems paramount to keep Oettinger in net for a while.
We will have to see how the next couple of weeks leading up to training camp unfold. But, as a Stars fan, I’m a little concerned at this moment. I’m not in full-blown panic mode simply because Otter and Robertson are restricted. So they are still with the team.
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Jake Oettinger provides much needed stability for the Dallas Stars in between the pipes. Dallas will look to build on his success.
I’m more concerned about next season if the Stars don’t show some love right now.