Shortly after launching Houses of the Hockey back in September, we ran a series of team previews for the 2010-11 NHL season. They were lengthy and well researched posts that offered a look back at the previous season, key subtractions and additions, and some prediction and speculation on what lay ahead for each franchise.
In an oversight that hadn’t come to our attention until the season was already a month old, we had erroneously excluded a preview for the Dallas Stars. It’s not that we hadn’t prepared one, it’s just that it somehow fell through the cracks in the excitement leading up to the start of the season. After taking a look at our Stars preview late last night, we figured that it was worth posting some excerpts from it to show just how prophetic it could have been had we published it in the first place.
Here are several excerpts from our previously unpublished 2010-11 Dallas Stars season preview:
2009-10 saw a return to form by Brad Richards. After back-to-back underwhelming performances in the two previous seasons, Richards crept above the point per game mark since 2005-06. Richards should once again pile up the points this season, as long as he doesn’t suffer a concussion when February rolls around. Jamie Benn should be considered the winger of the future in Dallas, but probably won’t get a crack at top minutes unless James Neal somehow slips out of the picture. Mark it down: Loui Eriksson will be an All-Star in 2010-11.
Trevor Daley could be in line for a new contract before the season’s over. We’re banking on something in the range of six-years, $19.8 million. Joe Nieuwendyk will have to pull the trigger on a trade for another offensive defenceman at some point in the season. A guy like Alex Goligoski may be a fit, just as long as they don’t move a young stud like Neal and a depth defender like Matt Niskanen for him.
Best Case Scenario
Richards stays healthy, Lehtonen delivers on all that potential and Nieuwendyk pulls of some creative deals. With all of the uncertainty with the ownership situation in Dallas, they could be this year’s Phoenix Coyotes and find success in the face of off ice adversity. Stars make the playoffs on the last day of the season. In a perfect world, Steve Ott would take a Dany Heatley elbow to the face.
Worst Case Scenario
Richards get concussed and never really finds his way upon returning, Nieuwendyk makes a sloppy trade, fans stay away from the arena, Adam Burish apologizes for his criticisms of Chris Pronger, and Jamie Langenbrunner somehow ends up in Dallas again. The Stars season comes down to the last game of the year and all they have to do is beat the lowly Minnesota Wild… they lose 5-3 and miss the postseason.
We’re Houses of the Hockey, and when we’re not watching hockey you can find us predicting the future with preposterous accuracy.