While the Dallas Stars eyeball question marks on offense and some goaltending risks, the team’s defense is its most glaring weakness.
The Stars’ defense was already suspect last season, and that was with better-than-expected play from Sheldon Souray.
“Studly Wonderbomb” signed with the Anaheim Ducks and the Stars didn’t add anyone beyond depth defenseman Aaron Rome, so Kari Lehtonen could be busier than ever in 2012-13.
Stephane Robidas has long been stretched thin as a second unit-type guy playing top pairing minutes, but it’s likely he’ll remain in that role.
The team hopes to get the most out of Alex Goligoski, their highest paid defenseman at $4.6 million per season. Goligoski stumbled a bit last season after initially making Dallas look like the “winners” of the James Neal trade.
(That didn’t last long.)
The rest of the Stars’ defense amounts to developing prospects and limited veterans.
From the look of things, GM Joe Nieuwendyk might be wise to pull off a significant trade to upgrade what appears to be a substandard unit. Some have discussed acquiring Jay Bouwmeester, for example.
As is, Dallas’ D might bare significant blame if the Stars miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.