With less than a couple months until the puck drops to start the 2013-2014 NHL season, it is time to consider some possibilities for the Dallas Stars’ roster in regards to defensive pairings.
Brenden Dillon Stephane Robidas (A)
Sergei Gonchar Alex Goligoski
Jordie Benn Trevor Daley
The leadership of veteran Stephane Robidas assisted Brenden Dillon’s entrance into the NHL last season.
Brenden Dillon and Stephane Robidas were very effective last season, as well as consistent. With the Robidas family welcoming Dillon into their household, the chemistry between the two defensemen was considerably noticeable on the ice.
Although it wasn’t a permanent housing situation for Dillon, living with Robidas allowed him to mature faster. Robidas is currently 36 years old and entering the final season of his 4-year contract. For the final season of Robidas’ contract, I would expect that the two will remain the top defensive pair. The maturity gained by Dillon may also lead to a letter being placed on his sweater in the future, if not even this upcoming season.
The next four spots are where the defensive possibilities are very open.
I would like to see Sergei Gonchar and Alex Goligoski on a line together, whether it be the second or third. Gonchar (an offseason acquisition) has years of experience that would benefit Goligoski. Goligoski has been proven to be a point scorer at the defensive position, but it would benefit him to be paired up with Gonchar who could assist Goligoski in making smarter plays with the puck. The top concern with Goligoski is his turnovers. His ratio of giveaways to takeaways last season was -33, third-worst in the NHL. My next article will dig deeper into the turnover problems for the Dallas Stars’ defense.
Trevor Daley is entering his 10th season with the Dallas Stars. Jordie Benn is entering his fifth season in the Stars’ organization, but only the third season with the NHL club (although he only played three games in 2011-12 and 26 games last season). Similar to how Robidas supported Dillon’s entrance into the NHL, it would be beneficial to Benn’s success if he were to be paired up with someone such as Daley who has years of experience, especially in the Stars organization.
The performance of Kevin Connauton, Jamie Oleksiak, and Aaron Rome (coupled with the performance/ lack of injuries of the six defensemen who I have on the roster) could influence the final decisions from the coaching staff to determine who stays on the roster of the Dallas Stars.
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