PENGUINS (X-X-X) vs. STARS (X-X-X) WHEN: December 1, 2012 - 2:00 pm | WHERE: American Airlines Center
There will be a familiar face across the ice when the Penguins take on the Dallas Stars this season. The club signed Jaromir Jagr to a one-year deal in July with the hopes that he can provide leadership and guidance for the team’s young players. In Philadelphia last season, Jagr played a large role in helping linemates Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell to career years. The future Hall of Famer posted 54 points (19G-35A).
Jagr was the biggest name to land in Texas this past summer, but he’s not the only 40-year-old forward headed to the Lone Star State. Left wing Ray Whitney inked a two-year deal with the Stars after appearing in all 82 games for Phoenix in 2011-12. The ageless Whitney proved he could still be relied on for producing offense, as he recorded 77 points (24G-53A) last season in the desert.
Another offensive piece headed to Dallas is former Buffalo winger Derek Roy. The Ottawa native saw his production decline last season with the Sabres, but Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk is hoping a change of scenery will boost the numbers back up. Roy was acquired in a trade that sent gritty forward Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy to Buffalo. A name that became a regular mention during trade deadlines over the past couple of seasons, Ott played a big role for Dallas, putting up 39 points to go along with 156 penalty minutes in 2011-12.
Playmaking center Mike Ribeiro was also traded away from the Stars to Washington at the 2012 NHL Draft, in exchange for center Cody Eakin and a 2012 second-round pick. Ribeiro amassed 63 points (18G-45A) in 74 contests last season.
In addition to the new faces at forward, the club also brought in defenseman Aaron Rome. Also headed out of Dallas are forwards Adam Burish and Jake Dowell, along with defenseman Sheldon Souray.
Despite all of the movement, the Stars still have key pieces at all positions returning this season. Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn and Michael Ryder all reached the 60-point plateau, with Eriksson leading the way. The Swedish winger led the club with 71 points, while Ryder potted 35 goals on the year.
Former Penguin Alex Goligoski was the leading point-getter from the blue line last season in Dallas, recording nine goals and 21 assists for the Stars. He is complimented by players like Stephane Robidas, Trevor Daley and Mark Fistric on the backend.
Kari Lehtonen is the goaltender of choice for Dallas, as the 28-year-old netminder appeared in 59 games last season, recording 32 wins. Lehtonen also put up a respectable 2.33 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage in 2011-12.
STARS: JAROMIR JAGR
Venturing out of the Eastern Conference for the first time in his career, Jagr will be looking to continue his point production while playing a mentorship role for Dallas’ younger players. The former Penguin still gets up to play his first club, as the Czech Republic native potted four goals and five points against Pittsburgh last season. PENGUINS: XXX
Ben Lovejoy , knee (5)
F Mats Zuccarello, broken wrist (6)
D Steve Eminger, lower body (10)
D Michael Sauer, concussion (56)