Stars add Suter, Holtby in search of playoff return

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After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2021-22 regular season, which starts Oct. 12. Today, the Dallas Stars:

2020-21 season: 23-19-14, fifth in Discover Central Division; did not qualify for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Key arrivals

Ryan Suter, D: The 36-year-old, who signed a four-year contract on July 28 after his contract was bought out by the Minnesota Wild on July 13, scored 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 56 games last season and had one assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. … Braden Holtby, G: Holtby, who will turn 32 Sept. 16, signed a one-year contract on July 28 after his contract was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks earlier that day. He was 7-11-3 with a 3.67 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in 21 games last season and will compete with Stars goalies Ben Bishop, Anton Khudobin and Jake Oettinger for playing time. … Jani Hakanpaa, D: The 29-year-old, who signed a three-year contract July 29, scored four points (two goals, two assists) in 57 games with the Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks last season and didn’t have a point in 11 playoff games. … Luke Glendening, F: The 32-year-old, who signed a two-year contract July 28, scored 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 54 games with the Detroit Red Wings last season. … Michael Raffl, F: The 32-year-old, who signed a one-year contract July 28, scored 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 44 games with the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers last season and no points in four postseason games. 

Key departures

Jamie Oleksiak, D: The 28-year-old was claimed by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21. He scored 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 56 games last season, led the Stars in hits (148) and was second in blocked shots (88). … Sami Vatanen, D: Vatanen, who is an unrestricted free agent, scored six points (two goals, four assists) in 39 games with the Stars and New Jersey Devils last season. … Andrew Cogliano , F: Cogliano signed a one-year contract with the San Jose Sharks on July 28 after he scored 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 54 games last season. … Jason Dickinson, F: The 26-year-old, who was traded to the Vancouver Canucks on July 17, scored 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in 51 games last season.

 

[RELATED: Complete Team Reset coverage]

 

On the cusp

Jordan Kawaguchi, F: The 24-year-old scored two points (one goal, one assist) in three games with Texas of the American Hockey League last season after he signed as a free agent March 31 following his senior season at the University of North Dakota. … Thomas Harley, D: Harley, who will turn 20 Aug. 19 and was selected with the No. 18 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, could compete for a spot out of training camp after scoring 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 38 AHL games last season. … Riley Tufte, F: The 23-year-old, who was the No. 25 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in 36 games with Texas last season.

What they still need

The Stars could seek another veteran forward rather than relying on young players in the system this season.

They said it

“You get to go pick a team that has a chance to win a Stanley Cup. … They’ve got a great coaching staff and I’ll play wherever they need me to play so that we have the best chance to win.” — Suter 

Fantasy focus

Suter, who was a top 10 defenseman scorer two seasons ago (48 points, ninth in NHL, for the Wild in 2019-20), is the third Stars player at the position in NHL.com’s top 250 rankings, joining Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg. Although Dallas’ fantasy goalie picture remains the most crowded in the NHL with Bishop, Khudobin, Oettinger and Holtby, the defense, which also includes Esa Lindell, is one of the strongest in the League and should make whichever goalie options coach Rick Bowness calls on a must-have tandem. Pete Jensen

Projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler SeguinAlexander Radulov

Jason RobertsonRoope HintzJoe Pavelski

Blake ComeauRadek FaksaDenis Gurianov

Joel Kiviranta — Luke Glendening — Michael Raffl

Esa Lindell — John Klingberg

Ryan Suter — Miro Heiskanen

Andrej Sekera — Jani Hakanpaa

Anton Khudobin

Braden Holtby

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