The Dallas Stars appear primed to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after an offseason when they added three players who've won the Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Stars got off to a slow start last season -- they were 9-10-5 through November -- and finished seven points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.
It was a disappointing step back for Dallas, which made the playoffs for the first time in six seasons in 2014.
"We need to make the playoffs," general manager Jim Nill said. "We need to be a consistent team. The idea is to make the playoffs every year, so that's our goal."
Here are four reasons for the Stars to be optimistic:
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The Dallas Stars were busy this offseason not only trying to assure they get back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs but looking to build a perennial contender.
Forward Patrick Sharp, acquired in a July 10 trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, and defenseman Johnny Oduya, signed as a free agent July 15, bring a winning pedigree to Dallas that could help the young Stars reach the top of the Western Conference this season and for years to come.
"We're excited and we know we're going to be good offensively," general manager Jim Nill said. "Our biggest thing is going to be playing the game the right way both ways, and we're going to do that."
Voracek signed a multiyear contract extension with the Flyers on July 30. TSN reported it is for eight years, $66 million.
"I'm really happy for him, and it's really good for our team," said Giroux, who is entering the second season of his eight-year, $66.2 million contract. "I think we have some room for improvement to get even better chemistry, but I think we've been doing a good job of finding each other and communicating on and off the ice to know how we want to play.
"Jake just cares so much that every time he comes to the rink he wants to win, and he's really fun to be around."
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