Dallas Stars preview

Overview: With no one noticing, the Dallas Stars have quietly assembled some of the best talented young players in the game.

Look at the quality young players they have. There’s Loui Eriksson, James Neal, Jamie Benn and more (including the top rated goalie in this year’s draft, Jack Campbell).

Sure, everyone may rave about the Los Angeles Kings or the Washington Capitals, but the Stars deserve recognition for the team they have assembled.

But just don’t tell anyone.

Best offseason move: Signing Kari Lehtonen. Probably the only goalie who has had more problems with injuries has been the Islanders’ Rick Dipietro. But Lehtonen deserves a shot. He’s still only 26 years old (most goalies start hitting their prime in their late 20s). He has a pretty good career save percentage and goals against, which is even more amazing when you think he’s really only played for the Atlanta Thrashers. Plus, Dallas knows its goalie of the future is Jack Campbell, whom they drafted this summer. Lehtonen will be a goalie to give the Stars a few years until Campbell is ready to go.

Worst offseason move: Signing Andrew Raycroft. I know he was better last year as a backup in Vancouver than he was in Toronto. But the Stars have Brent Krahn, a 28-year-old player who was dynamite in the AHL last season (17 wins in 22 games, with a 1.83 GAA and 0.945 save percentage). Why not give him a shot at being the backup?

Dark horse trophy candidate: Brad Richards for the Art Ross.

Pool pick: Mike Ribeiro. Missed some time due to injury last year, but he should be good for 70 points if he can stay healthy. Who to stay away from: Jamie Benn. A rookie last season, Benn will be great for poolies in a couple of years, but not his one. Expect him to finish with about 50 points.

Sporcle quiz: Can you name the Dallas Stars Opening Night Rosters from 1999-2010?

Best hall of fame choice: Brad Richards. At the age of 30, may be a bit of a stretch. But he still merits attention. He already has 639 points, so 1,000 within reach. But 500 goals may be pushing it (he has 192 now). But he’s got a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe, and a Lady Byng. In the juniors, he won three different most valuable player awards in the same year. He also has a world championship gold medal.

Blog to follow: Razor with an Edge

My Prediction: Fourth in the Pacific, seventh in the West

Famous celebrity from that city: Jessica Simpson

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