Extreme makeover: Stars

Dallas improved on offense, but playoff drought continues

Updated: July 31, 2012, 12:46 PM ET
By Neil Greenberg | Special to ESPN Insider
Jaromir JagrJustin K. Aller/Getty ImagesJaromir Jagr should bring some much needed help to Dallas' power-play unit.

Trades and signings alter the makeup of rosters every summer, but some franchises renovate their rosters far more aggressively than others. For five weeks, Insider contributor Neil Greenberg will examine five of the biggest summer shake-ups to see what we can expect from the overhauled lineups in the coming season. The series continues with the Dallas Stars.

The Dallas Stars have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons, their longest postseason drought since relocating from Minnesota in 1993. Looking to reverse the slide, the Stars made some big changes this summer.

They signed free agents Jaromir Jagr and Ryan Whitney and let Adam Burish and Sheldon Souray walk. Mike Ribeiro was traded to the Washington Capitals for Cody Eakin and a second-round pick, while dealing Steve Ott and Adam Pardy brought in Derek Roy from the Buffalo Sabres.

With a revamped top six, the offense -- which produced 2.49 goals per game last season (down from 2.71 in 2010-11 and 2.80 in 2009-10) -- figures to improve. Jamie Benn will be able to focus on scoring with Jagr on his wing, and the newly acquired Ray Whitney and Roy should provide improved two-way play on the second line and special teams.

But can a diminutive center and two 40-year-olds improve the offense enough to return the Stars to the playoffs?

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.