Sadly, it's been over five years since Dallas has competed in the postseason and the club finished last in the Pacific in three of the past four seasons.
Things could be different this season, however, as the Stars join the seven- team Central Division as part of the NHL's realignment plan for the upcoming season. Although Dallas is unlikely to compete for division supremacy with the likes of Chicago, St. Louis and Minnesota, the Stars could be the fourth-best club in the Central, which also includes Colorado, Nashville and Winnipeg.
The Stars are still attempting to rebuild on the fly and the club hopes the hiring of former longtime Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff is the next step in making that process a success. Ruff, of course, was head coach of the Sabres team that lost to Dallas in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, but perhaps he can make a name for himself in Big D for something less dubious.
FORWARDS - Outside of Ruff's hiring, the biggest move for Dallas heading into the 2013-14 season was the acquisition of talented, but controversial forward Tyler Seguin.
Seguin, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft, showed flashes of brilliance during his first NHL stint in Boston, but rumors of poor off-ice behavior (including accusations of heavy drinking) ultimately led to his being banished from the Bruins this summer. On July 4, Boston sent Seguin along with fellow NHL forward Rich Peverley and defensive prospect Ryan Button to Dallas in exchange for forward Loui Eriksson and a trio of prospects, including blueliner Joe Morrow, a former first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The 21-year-old Seguin's tenure in Dallas got off to a rough start in July when an offensive message was sent via his Twitter account. Although Seguin insists the tweet in question, which paraphrased an off-color quote from the film "Full Metal Jacket," was the result of hacking, the whole incident did little to change the public perception of Seguin as immature.
Given the bad press Seguin received over the last several months, he has a great deal to prove this season. Considering he has notched a solid 121 points (56G, 65A) over his first 203 NHL games, he may be able to shift the focus back to his on-ice talents.
Although he played right wing in Boston, Seguin expects to center the top line for Dallas this season, a decision that'll allow Jamie Benn to move to his natural position on the left wing.
Although Benn missed the first four games of last year's shortened season due to a contract dispute, he still led Dallas in points with 33 and was tied for second on the club with Eriksson in goals (12). The Stars are betting that moving Benn back to wing can result in a career year for the 24-year-old.
In a decidedly less high-profile deal than the one that landed Seguin to Dallas, the Stars traded for veteran centerman Shawn Horcoff to bolster the middle of the ice. Dallas acquired Horcoff, who has two years remaining on six-year, $33 million contract, from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh-round draft pick in 2016.
As captain of the Edmonton Oilers for the past three seasons, Horcoff at least should bring leadership to the Stars, but his value as a scorer at this point in his career is minimal. Horcoff had a career-high 22 goals and 73 points in 2005-06, but hasn't even reached 50 points since 2008-09. Last season with the Oilers, the 34-year-old had seven goals and five assists over 31 games.