Last Word On Hockey brings our Team of the Decade series. We will dive into the best player at each position this decade for every organization. The biggest and best at each position, with the most memorable moments in franchise history. Here is the Dallas Stars decade lineup.
Dallas Stars Decade Team
The Dallas Stars were a fairly disappointing team in the early 2010s. As the decade rolled along, they found more and more success. Their first playoff berth this decade came in the 2013-14 season where they were eliminated in the first round. The franchise qualified for postseason play twice more but failed to make it in back to back seasons. While they never made it past the second round, they had plenty of talented players on the roster and have some bright young stars now.
Here are the very best to suit up in Big D over the last 10 years.
Centre: Tyler Seguin
Originally drafted by the Boston Bruins, Tyler Seguin has been the best player on the Dallas Stars roster this decade. Acquired in arguably one of the most lopsided trade deal in recent memory, Seguin has blossomed from a highly promising young forward into one of the NHL’s premier centres.
Seguin’s career got off to a hot start with a Stanley Cup ring in his rookie season of 2010-11. Following the next two seasons in Boston, Dallas would trade away Loui Eriksson, Joseph Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Fraser to get him on the roster. While that seems like an excessive gamble, it has paid off. Dallas did receive other players as well, but Seguin is the only player in this trade that has made a long term impact.
Tyler Seguin has routinely been a top scorer on Dallas’ roster. With the current NHL season suspended, he has only registered 50 points in 69 games. Prior to this season, he had not put up less than 70 points since the strike-shortened year in 2012-13. Seguin is an instrumental part of Dallas’s success and they cannot afford to lose his talents.
Seguin has also been a leader for Dallas in recent years. He is currently an alternate captain for the franchise. The “A” has been on his sweater since the 2017-18 season. Seguin could be a candidate for the captain when Jamie Benn retires.
Left-Wing: Jamie Benn
If anyone ever wants to talk about a good return on a draft pick, look no further than Jamie Benn. As a former fifth-round draft selection, Benn has been a mainstay on the Stars roster since 2009. In six of his 11 NHL seasons, he has scored at least 60 points. Not many players can do that once, much less six times.
One of the best things that having Benn on the roster is the chemistry he has developed with Tyler Seguin. The two of them are one of the more dynamic and formidable pairs of forwards in the NHL. They can seemingly score at will and play well together. The success of the Dallas Stars is closely linked to the two of them.
Benn has been a vocal leader for Dallas. He has served as the franchise’s captain since 2013. Every team needs a leader and he has been just that. Some promising young forwards have come through the organization. Benn has been there the entire time and been a prime example of how hard work pays off.
Right-Wing: Alexander Radulov
The right-wing spot is a somewhat weak position on the Dallas Stars roster over the last 10 years. They have had several talented players, but no one has spent more than a couple of seasons assuming top-line duties. Alexander Radulov is one of the best who has done it in recent years.
Radulov spent much of his career playing in the KHL. Since returning to the NHL, he has proved he is talented enough to earn top-line minutes and pay. The Stars noticed this and handed him a five-year contract worth $31.25 million. With Benn and Seguin at his side, they form one of the more underrated top forward lines in the NHL.
Although Radulov’s point totals were down from previous highs this past season, he is still a valuable asset. He has two 70 point seasons in Dallas. That kind of production can be hard to find on the open market. The Stars were lucky enough to capitalize and bring him into the fold. Fans are surely hoping for a bounce-back next season. When you play with so many talented players in Dallas, it will probably happen.
Left Defence: Alex Goligoski
Alex Goligoski is another asset the Dallas Stars traded for. Goligoski is one of the best defenders of the Dallas Stars decade. He was not only capable of being a physical, hard-nosed defenceman. Playing in the offensive zone is a specialty of Goligoski’s and his 407 career points prove it.
Being traded for James Neal and Matt Niskanen holds you to a high standard. Dallas felt it was worth it to trade them in exchange for a solid two-way defenceman. Goligoski lived up to the expectations. He played more games in Dallas than anywhere else in his career and has more points as a Star than anywhere else.
Something extremely beneficial is that Goligoski brought championship experience to Dallas. He won a Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. That is an experience that far too many players never have. To bring in someone who has been through that grind does nothing but help your organization. Even though he was young when he first came to Dallas, he was able to bring an invaluable veteran style presence to the locker room.
Right Defence: John Klingberg
When discussing top-notch offensive defencemen, John Klingberg has to be near the top of everyone’s list. Among NHL defensemen, he has finished top five in scoring twice in his six-year NHL career. With plenty of his career still left, he has not only been one of the best to do it in the last 10 years but could be for the foreseeable future.
Puck moving defensemen are critical to being competitive in today’s NHL. While stay-at-home defenders are still useful, there is an emphasis on offensive play. Klingberg has proven that he can excel in that area. He has been a dangerous weapon for this franchise. When you pair him with Seguin, Benn, and Radulov, this group creates one of the offensive units with the most potential.
Klingberg is another great return on investment as a former fifth-round pick. He developed into a great blue-liner and was a top-five candidate for the Calder Trophy his rookie season. While he does not have a Norris trophy yet, he could contend for one soon. As good as he is, playing in a smaller market has made him one of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL.
Goalie: Ben Bishop
Ben Bishop has not been in Dallas for very long. After several years in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization and a brief stint with the Los Angeles Kings, he landed in Dallas. Since becoming the face in net of the Stars, Bishop has proven to everyone that he is one of the best to do it in the NHL.
A Vezina trophy has been elusive for Bishop but he has played like he has earned one. He carried the Dallas Stars to their last playoff appearance and has been the best player on the roster for a couple of seasons. He has been a finalist for a Vezina but had it stolen away by Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Bishop is clearly the franchise goaltender for Dallas. There are very few players in the NHL who can get on his level or better. Looking back on the last decade, even though Bishop has not been here long, his calibre of play has been extremely high. No one has matched his level of dominance in Dallas since the days of Ed Belfour.
Kari Lehtonen cannot be understated in his importance over the last decade of hockey in Dallas. While not as good as Bishop, he still played at a high level for many years with the Stars organization. Jason Spezza was also a crucial player for the Stars, with multiple seasons of at least 50 points. That does it for the Dallas Stars decade, tune in tomorrow for another team.