2009 preview: Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars never had a good season last year.

After many years of making the playoffs and being a contender, the team struggled last season. Goaltender Marty Turco looked brutal, several players missed significant time due to injuries, and they had a major distraction right from the beginning.

Look for the Stars to rebound this season.

Story of the season:Can this team rebound from Sean Avery? Once Avery was signed for last season, it all went downhill for the Stars. Players were distracted, the media coverage intensified, and Avery’s on-ice play wasn’t helping things. But now that he’s not on the team, it’s up to the Stars to show that last year was an anomaly.

Former Habs:Mike Riberio, Stephane Robidas

Blog to follow: Defending Big D

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Pool Picks: Brad Richards. He missed quite a few games last year, but was almost a point-per-game player in the games he did play (48 points in 56 games). If he stays healthy, he should be good for 80 points. Stay away from:Fabian Brunnstrom. He hasn’t had a good pre-season, and after a great start last year (a hat trick in his first game), Brunnstrom finished with 29 points in 55 games.

Award nominees: Brad Richards for the Lady Byng.

Expected Finish: Third in the Pacific, Seventh in the West

Cheerleader: Five ice girls for the price of one.

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