So much has changed about the future of the Dallas Stars in the past 12 months then when the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs is complete, it will be hard to argue that members of any of the other seven eliminated franchises will feel better about how this season went.
That doesn't mean there isn't disappointment in Texas after the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Stars in six games in a Western Conference First Round series. Though the Stars had the fewest points of any playoff team, they played well enough against the Ducks to spring the upset and advance.
There were lessons to be learned from this experience, and a future with Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin at the core of a contending team with general manager Jim Nill and coach Lindy Ruff in charge is one people in Dallas should be excited about.
Here are five reasons fans of the Stars are focusing on that future instead of a second-round opponent: