Last offseason was a sizable disappointment well before any games were played. Sure, the season was a stinker, but the Dallas Stars fence-straddling about their direction in June and July set it up to be a disappointment early. The window for winning with this current Jason-Spezza-inclusive group was three years. A season passing has shrunk the window proportionally. All indications seem to be that the Stars are ready to take advantage of that remaining window immediately.
It’s entirely possible to have your heart in the right place and end up being wrong. The decisions to let Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers walk didn’t go as planned. Dan Hamhuis was a quality addition, but as the season crumbled, so did the young defensemen. You can make arguments in favor of letting either or both walk, but it’s equally as easy to make the argument that not being willing to cut bait on someone like Jamie Oleksiak was a serious error.
It remains to be seen how the Stars address the defense, but 2017’s NHL campaign isn’t fully concluded yet and the Stars have already begun working to shore up the goaltending. Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen proved not to be the answers. Ben Bishop is now likely going to be the guy the Stars rally around. Good.
It may not work out, but decisive action is necessary. Stars GM Jim Nill was dealt a tough situation last year, but the optics of the situation look like he was simply too patient or indecisive in dealing with his team. Striking early to get the starting goalie taken care of without using much trade capital is a quality move. Fortune favors the bold. For the Stars to get where they want to go they should have the courage of their convictions and continue to make bold moves to kick the playoff door down with authority in 2018.
What else could they do?