The Dallas Stars have been trying to work on their defensive structure, on paper, at least. The addition of Martin Hanzal should help with that, as the hulking centre does play a decent two-way game.
The Stars signed Hanzal to a 3-year, $14.25 million deal on Saturday, adding him to a pretty offensive cast of characters already in the fold.
Hanzal is no slouch when it comes to the offensive side either, as he tallied 20 goals and 39 points in 71 games between Arizona and Minnesota, the move between teams coming at the trade deadline. Unfortunately for the Wild, Hanzal did not pan out very well at all, going cold in his new surroundings and the Wild were quickly dispatched, when the lost to the St. Louis Blues in five games.
Nevertheless, the Stars were quick on the draw to try and get Hanzal signed and he should compliment the team in a third line centre role, along with shutdown defenseman Marc Methot, who they acquired a few days earlier from Vegas. The framework for a better defensive system in Dallas appears to be in place, now they just need to upgrade their depth a little bit more.
|Jamie Benn||9.500||Marc Methot||4.900||Kari Lehtonen||5.900|
|Jason Spezza||7.500||John Klingberg||4.250||Ben Bishop||4.917|
|Tyler Seguin||5.750||Dan Hamhuis||3.750|
|Martin Hanzal||4.750||Esa Lindell||2.200|
|Antoine Roussel||2.000||Patrik Nemeth||0.945|
|Tyler Pitlick||1.000||Julius Honka||0.863|
|Denis Gurianov||0.925||Greg Pateryn||0.850|
With new faces like Hanzal, Methot and Ben Bishop, the Stars are spending money to be a better team, but like a good portion of the teams we've featured on the blog, they are doing so with a 23-man projected roster that has cap space to spare. The Stars are looking at about $8.2 million right now and they have a couple restricted free agents that I'm sure they would like to have deals in place for soon.
The Stars are coming along well, but they had a long ways to go. Any help that they could give to Benn, Spezza and Seguin was going to be appreciated in their lineup and dressing room. They may still need to pull a couple more rabbits out of their hat to start competing in the Central Division again, but after the first couple of days of free agency, you can tell something is working for them.