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The wait is over: Stars' trek to bounce-back year starts at training camp

Following an offseason makeover - and lengthy recess - it's time to find out exactly what goes where in Dallas' new house

by Josh Bogorad @JoshBogorad / On The Radar

Seguin on Stars plans on offense

Seguin on the change in Stars offensive strategy

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin talks about the change in offensive philosophy with the addition of Ken Hitchcock as head coach

  • 01:14 •

There are certain times in life when you know you are about to have something, but still must wait to actually get your hands on it. Maybe you found your dream house and your offer was accepted, but you can't close for a couple of months. Or you finally booked the vacation you've been saving and planning for, but it's not until next summer. The excitement of what is coming can be exhilarating. You searched, you studied, you planned -- and now it's yours. You can't wait.

But you have to.

It's like being a kid and making a Christmas wish-list that you know will be delivered, but you still have to wait for the actual day for it to get there. In that sense, Christmas came in July for the Stars and their fans this year.

They made their list. They checked it twice. They pretty much got everything they wanted, putting the rest of the NHL on notice in the process. They got their coach. They upgraded in net. They improved their defense. They got better down the middle and on the wing. If you were a Stars fan, you could not wait for the season to start. Then you looked at the calendar. It read July 3.

The Stars had done everything right. Tom Gaglardi and Jim Nill rolled up their sleeves and went for it. Then after a furious couple of months, it was time to wait. And wait.

... And wait.   

Video: Methot ready to get rolling with Stars

When you find yourself in situations like these, you start playing out scenarios of what will be. You picture how good that house is going to look once you decide what goes where. Add a shelf here, knock down a wall there. You can picture that room with a new Radulov next to your Benn and Seguin. Or what a coat of Methot could do for that Klingberg.   

Anticipation is a funny thing. On one hand, it makes an upcoming event so enticing that you might find yourself literally counting down the days. At the same time, it can make that countdown feel like it's moving in slow motion.

But now that wait is finally over. Schools are back in session. Labor Day is in the rear-view mirror. The third digit from the thermometer is gone. Once again, it's hockey season.

We are a week away from training camp, and less than a month away from opening night. There is only one more work week until the Stars play a game at American Airlines Center.

One. 

That means after an incredible summer makeover, and the agonizing wait that followed, it's time to find out exactly what goes where in the Stars new house.

Video: "It's been a busy offseason"

It's time to see what the young and talented Stars blue line can do under defensive specialist, Ken Hitchcock. It's time to see what a top line looks like when you add a supremely-talented Alexander Radulov to one of the best duos in the sport. It's time to see how a Vezina Trophy finalist like Ben Bishop transforms the team in front of him. It's time to see a Stars lineup that could potentially have Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, and Martin Hanzal line up at center on the top three lines. It's time to find out what steps forward Esa Lindell and Devin Shore take after impressive rookie campaigns. Or what Julius Honka can do with his first full crack at an NHL season.

How will the potential partnership of Marc Methot and John Klingberg look? Can Mattias Janmark reclaim his form after missing all of last year to injury? What do Radek Faksa and Brett Ritchie have in store with 100-plus NHL games now under their belt? Will free agent forward Tyler Pitlick make a big impact on a bargain contract like many believe he can? Who emerges from the double-digit platoon of defensemen and what happens with those outside the top six? Can young players like Denis Gurianov, Roope Hintz, and Miro Heiskanen impress enough in training camp to stay in Dallas?

These are all questions Stars fans have had since the last firework in a busy offseason detonated more than two months ago. And they are now the questions that will finally get answered beginning next weekend in Cedar Park.

The saying is that good things come to those who wait. After waiting anxiously for this year to arrive, it's time to see it in practice and find out just how good.

Welcome back, hockey season. It's been way too long.

Josh Bogorad is the Studio Host on Stars television broadcasts. He can be seen 30 minutes before face-off on 'Stars Live' and immediately after games all season long on Fox Sports Southwest. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshBogorad.   

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