Wednesday, August 01, 2007

An Arbitrator Decides!

Antti Miettinen was only the second player in the arbitration season to have his new deal ironed out by a third party this week. He won a 1-year deal worth $885,000, which will keep the forward in Dallas this season, before becoming an Unrestricted Free Agent next summer. Miettinen scored 11 goals and 25 points in 74 games last season (ranking him 343rd, 243rd among forwards).

Jere LehtinenMike RibeiroJussi Jokinen *
Brendan MorrowMike ModanoNiklas Hagman
Antti MiettinenStu BarnesLoui Eriksson
Todd FedorukJeff HalpernJoel Lundqvist
Sergei ZubovPhillipe Boucher
Stephane RobidasTrevor Daley
Mattias NorstromNolan Baumgartner
Marty Turco
Mike Smith

The Dallas Stars are looking more like a motley crew going into next season. It may look a tad strange to not see Mike Modano up there on the top line, but Ribeiro's game was not marred by injuries like Modano's was and with the same points-per-game, Ribeiro took the number one spot (in the pool ranking) by virtue of points. You should believe that Modano is the number one centre in Dallas, but he probably won't be taken higher than Ribeiro in many pools... although maybe he should be.

The Stars will not lack in defensive presence, especially with Marty Turco manning the crease. Turco has been a Top 20 player for the last 4 seasons, including being the 2nd best player in 2003/04. He was the 6th best goaltender last season and will give the Stars that confidence only a top level keeper can give.

On the blueline, the acquistions of Mattias Norstrom and Nolan Baumgartner last season were key to being a better defensive unit behind Sergei Zubov and Phillipe Boucher. Zubov and Boucher are relied upon to move the puck and shoot it into a crowd. If the roles are executed, the Stars should have at least two solid pairings, while Daley and Robidas will do their best as minute eating defensemen.

Up front, the only signing remaining is Jussi Jokinen. He will not be going to arbitration this summer, rather waiting to see what the Stars can afford for him. The roster posted currently stands at $42.6 million, which is still a far cry from the max, so the Stars have some room to wiggle as well come the trade deadline.

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