The Dallas Stars are unquestionably the sexy pick to make some (more?) noise in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. A breakthrough season last year saw Tyler Seguin light it up offensively, Jamie Benn reinforce his position as one of the top young leaders in the game and the Stars sneak into the eighth seed in the West and give Anaheim all it could handle before fading in Game 6 of the opening round.
General manager Jim Nill has done yeoman service in landing two top-end centers in a little over a year, acquiring disgruntled former Ottawa captain Jason Spezza (and a winger for Spezza in Ales Hemsky) to take some pressure off Seguin, suggesting the Stars are indeed built to last at least offensively in the Central.
Seguin joked in a recent interview that he thinks other NHL teams are giving Nill good players because he's such a nice guy.
"He's the ultimate hockey guy that I've met in this business," Seguin said of his boss.
Defensively? Hmm. Well that's more a work in progress, but this is a team that looks poised to shake off years of mediocrity that stunted the franchise's growth in the heart of Texas.
You can read the rest of the preview here to find out who is expected to play a starring role, Mike Modano's thoughts on the Stars' future, predictions and more.