The Dallas Stars made a lot of big moves this offseason from signing former San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski to buying out Valeri Nichushkin to the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and taking Thomas Harley with the 18th overall selection. We’re going to take a dive into the Stars’ offseason and talk about how they should work out in the upcoming season.
Stars’ general manager Jim Nill signed 35-year-old Joe Pavelski to a two-year contract with a $7 million AAV. The contract is okay at best. I, personally, don’t like the idea of signing someone as old as Pavelski to such a contract, but to further see how well it should work out for the Stars, we need to dive even deeper.
Dive into the stats. In the last two seasons, Joe Pavelski has taken part in a total of 157 games played. In that time, he’s scored 60 goals and 70 assists, making for a total of 130 points. On stats alone, this is a huge pickup because the one thing the Stars really need is scoring depth.
Judging by hockeyreference.com, the Stars scored only 209 goals to the league average of 244 last season, but they had allowed 200 goals to the league average of 244. The Stars’ biggest problem was scoring depth and Joe Pavelski is a HUGE addition in changing that.
The Stars also signed former Anaheim Duck Corey Perry after they bought out his contract this offseason. He was signed to a one-year, $1.5 million dollar contract which is a great deal for a player of his kind. Corey Perry has had a rough last couple years, tallying 101 games in his last two seasons. This made for a total of just 51 points registered.
If Perry returns to form and puts up points like most seasons between 2008 and 2015, then it will be a great signing for the Stars and if he doesn’t return to form, then he will be released next offseason. It’s a low risk, high reward signing with no downside. Overall, great signing by Jim Nill, arguably one of his best so far. To read more about Jim Nill, click here.
Valeri Nichushkin, the 10th overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, was bought out earlier this offseason after being a complete and utter bust for the Stars since he was drafted. Last season, he scored 0 goals and 10 assists, making for 10 points registered in a total of 78 games played. Nishushkin has a total of 74 points in 223 games since being drafted and being slotted in the middle-six forward group, so it’s not like he didn’t get enough ice time. Nichushkin was bought out this offseason after the aforementioned abysmal year. He was getting paid more than Corey Perry is now and they put up the same amount of points last season.
The draft likely won’t work out in the Stars’ favour, as Harley, in my opinion, won’t develop into a top-four defensemen. And the rest of the draft was filled with a bunch of nobodies who likely won’t make it into the NHL, especially considering how awful the Stars’ development program is, pushing out so many draft busts like Denis Gurianov, Valeri Nichushkin, Julius Honka, etc. The Stars’ development program has had 41 prospects come through since Jim Nill took over in 2013 and only nine of them have played at least one NHL game.
Overall, I think the Stars are set to be a serious cup contender this season if they can successfully manage to keep goaltender Ben Bishop healthy. And the Stars shouldn’t have to go through a major rebuild anytime soon, as long as the development staff start doing their jobs and if possible to a greater degree.