May 2, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Phoenix Coyotes left wing Ray Whitney (13) handles the puck in front of Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) during the second period of game three in the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators beat the Coyotes 2-0. Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

No Country for Old Men?

The Dallas Stars were one of the most dominant teams in the NHL in the late 1990s to early 2000s, featuring one of the best American players of all time in Mike Modano.  This past season, the Stars got out to a fast start, holding the division lead for most of the season.  However, this young team could not hold this lead, finishing the season with 89 points, 42-35-5.  GM Joe Nieuwendyk knew that he had to give this team some veteran leadership and that he did.  He signed Jaromir Jagr, Ray Whitney, and Aaron Rome as well as traded for Derek Roy.

April 1, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) clears the puck up ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Philadelphia Flyers won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Stars’ fans hope that Jaromir Jagr can be the center that he was for Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.  Giroux was undoubtedly the Philadelphia Flyers best player the whole season, amassing 93 points last season.  In one playoff game alone against the Penguins, Giroux recorded a hat trick along with three assists.  Nieuwendyk has already said that ideally Jagr would center Jamie Benn and Louis Ericsson.  Ericsson had his best year for the Dallas Stars last season, totaling 71 points at Left Wing.   Ericsson could eclipse that total if Jagr is the distributor the Stars expect him to be.

Ray Whitney led the Phoenix Coyotes in points last season with 77.  Even at 40 years old, Whitney has proven that he still has offensive prowess and can play at a high level.  This past year, Whitney became only the 79th player in NHL history to amass more than 1000 regular-season points in their career.  Whitney is one of the most underrated players in the NHL, averaging 64.8 points per season over the last ten years.  Whitney won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes, bringing the knowledge of what it takes in a NHL season to achieve hockey immortality.  Derek Roy scored 44 points for the Buffalo Sabres last year.  Although his points total does not pop out, Roy is a proven scorer in the NHL, posting above 63 points for four consecutive seasons from 2006-2010.  A change of scenery may prove to be the perfect remedy for this 29 year old forward that still has a fair amount of good hockey left in front of him.

Overall, these players need to help what was the 30th ranked power play in the NHL this past season.   Obviously, anything helps in this situation but a big body like Jagr along with a sniper like Whitney should provide the Stars with a better power play already.  However, the major problem with these older players is just that, their age.  Can these two forty year-old players spearhead a run into the playoffs for the Dallas Stars?   Conventional wisdom would say no, but do not be surprised if the Stars sneak into the playoffs.

Tags: Dallas Stars Derek Roy Jaromir Jagr Ray Whitney

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