Five questions facing the Stars in the offseason

Posted Monday, Apr. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Off-season storylines

The Dallas Stars missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. Here’s a look at some storylines as the off-season begins:

1. Who’s in charge? The first order of business on new general manager Jim Nill’s docket is to decide upon a head coach for next season. Glen Gulutzan just completed his second season at the Stars’ helm and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Most believe Gulutzan will follow Joe Nieuwendyk out the door, igniting speculation on coaching candidates.

2. Roster evaluation: The lockout-shortened season and the final few weeks after the trade deadline essentially became an extended tryout for the league’s third-most inexperienced team. As Nill begins to shape a new roster, it will be interesting to see which of the Stars’ young talents will remain with the big team as Nill potentially finds veteran free agents to fill several holes.

3. Captain search: Before his removal, Nieuwendyk sent long-time Stars captain Brenden Morrow to Pittsburgh for prospect Joe Morrow, leaving the Stars captainless throughout the remainder of the season. Both Nieuwendyk and Gulutzan were adamant that they would see the rest of the season through with three alternate captains and let the true leader separate himself. However, with the GM replaced and Gulutzan’s future uncertain, a whole new captain evaluation will begin.

4. Dressed for success? It has long been reported the Stars will get a makeover before the 2013-2014 season, including new uniforms and potentially a new logo. Sometime during the off-season this new combination will be unveiled. Will it be another black, green, gold and red “Mooterus” debacle or the dawning of a new age in Stars’ history?

5. Minor-league impact: Right away, the Stars’ front office and fans can cheer on the AHL affiliate Texas Stars out of Cedar Park as it tries its hand in the Calder Cup playoffs. The minor-league Stars finished on top of the Western Conference with 97 points and are favorites to take the conference championship. Currently on the playoff roster are familiar names such as Jordie Benn, Jamie Oleksiak, Toby Petersen, Matt Fraser, Reilly Smith, Alex Chiasson and Christopher Nilstorp. The Texas Stars open the playoffs against the Milwaukee Admirals in a best-of-five series.

—Travis L. Brown

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