It’s early September which means each team is starting to look inward about their roster moving forward into training camp. However, the NHL rumours don’t stop here. Each addition and subtraction to each team is supposed to make the team better. But after assessing the roster changes, it seems the Dallas Stars have left themselves with a hole on the right side of their defensive lines.
NHL Rumours: Dallas Stars are Lacking on the Right Side
What the Stars’ blue line coulda looked like this season:
Reality isn’t so kind.
Void at right-handed defensemen, front office assessment, Faksa trade talk, Chilis vs. Applebees, more: Stars mailbag, part 2👇🏽https://t.co/3cioYHjoVO
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) August 30, 2022
This offseason, the Stars lost defenceman John Klingberg. However, they added Mason Marchment, Colin Miller, and Will Butcher. What the front office added to the team defensively does not match up to what they lost in Klingberg. Not only is the quality not there, but the Stars are also left with lopsided defensive lines. They currently have five left-handed defencemen and two right-handed defencemen. This was the case last year. However, they are able to get away with it by playing Miro Heiskanen on the right side.
It is no secret that both sides, the Dallas front office, and Klingberg’s agent completely mishandled the situation between the two parties. On one hand, if the Stars knew they couldn’t afford what Klingberg was asking for, they should have traded him at the deadline; whether that be with another solid defenceman or with forward depth. Letting a player with that much value walk with getting nothing in return should be illegal in the hockey world.
On the other hand, Klingberg’s agent misreading the market and exactly what his value was, did the defenceman no favours. This created issues that the two parties could not get over, causing them to part ways. After missing the opportunity to get a return from Klingberg, the next step should have been to find him a replacement on the blue line. However, the Stars did not do that. They ultimately let him walk for nothing and without replacing him.
The Stars solution to the lack of right-handed defencemen in recent years has been playing the young star on his weak side. And if you watched him play, you would never know that this was his “weak” side. While this has been a temporary fix or “damage control” as Saad Yousuf stated in his article, this cannot and should not be the solution. Heiskanen is one of the top defencemen in the league. But his ceiling has been held down by the choices the Stars front office has made.
Most Stars fans hoped that with a coaching change, Pete DeBoer would come in and break up the Heiskanen and Ryan Suter pairing. Because management didn’t acquire another right-handed defenceman, it appears Heiskanen will be playing on his weak side out of necessity. Perhaps they can find another player to play that role. But so far, the right side is looking awfully meek for the Stars going into the season.