The Dallas Stars are coming off a pretty impressive season. Under new head coach Pete DeBoer, the Stars aimed for deeper playoff runs beginning in 2023. And they ended up achieving just that. Dallas defeated the Minnesota Wild in six games to advance to the second round. In the second round, they edged out the Seattle Kraken for a spot in the Western Conference Finals.
However, things went south against the Vegas Golden Knights. Dallas fell behind 3-0 and saw captain Jamie Benn receive a two-game suspension due to, let's be honest here, rather dirty and unsportsmanlike play. The Stars would win those two games without Benn but eventually fell to the eventual Stanley Cup champions in six games.
The Stars entered NHL Free Agency with a rather clear directive. It's time to add those final pieces and make the leap from Western Conference losers to Stanley Cup champions in 2024.
With NHL Free Agency quieting down, let's see how the Stars did. Here's what Dallas added, what Dallas lost, and what the biggest roster concern for the Stars is heading into the 2023-24 season.
The Stars didn't lose a ton of players this offseason. Their biggest loss is probably forward Max Domi, a trade deadline acquisition from the Chicago Blackhawks. Domi signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer.
Dallas also made a trade earlier this summer. They sent veteran blueliner Colin Miller to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2025. Miller spent just one season as a member of the Stars.
Beyond that, Dallas is without two depth forwards. Luke Glendening signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning after two years in the Lone Star State. And Joel Kiviranta remains an unrestricted free agent as of this writing.
The Stars made all of their additions through free agency this summer. The most notable addition to the Stars roster is forward Matt Duchene. Dallas took advantage of the Nashville Predators buying the veteran forward out, signing Duchene to a one-year contract.
Dallas took a flier on 25-year-old former first-round pick Sam Steel. Steel signed a one-year, one-way contract after spending one season with the Wild. Prior to that, he spent the first four years of his career with the Anaheim Ducks.
Veteran forward Craig Smith joined the Stars on a one-year contract, as well. The 32-year-old split last season between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. He joined the Capitals as part of the Dmitry Orlov trade at the deadline in March.
Finally, Dallas picked up a bit of veteran depth on the backend. They signed Gavin Beyreuther to a one-year contract. The 29-year-old began his career with the Stars. However, he spent the previous three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Biggest roster concern
The biggest concern for the Stars roster is their defense. Dallas expects young defensemen Thomas Harley and Nils Lundkvist to develop this upcoming season. If those two players make progress, then this is much less of a concern for the team. However, that's a big if right now.
There's also the curious case of veteran defenseman Ryan Suter. Suter has a solid track record throughout his career. However, the 38-year-old took a step back last season. This was on full display in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and more specifically in the Western Conference Finals. If the Stars limit his role, it shouldn't be a major issue. Whether his role actually gets limited remains to be seen, however.
Beyreuther is fine depth, but Dallas would benefit from at least considering another depth move or two on the blueline. It would give Harley and Lundkvist a bit of support as they take on bigger roles this upcoming season. And it'd give the Stars some insurance in case these two just aren't ready to take on these bigger roles in 2023-24.