No offense to Brad Winchester...who will make a great addition to the Stars' roster...but this should be Doug Armstrong's last season as general manager in Dallas. I waited patiently and chose not to jump the gun after Sunday passed with not a single transaction. Then the days came and went until, FINALLY, today, the team announced the signing of 3 players. If you have not heard yet Stars' fans, get ready to celebrate...we were actually able to get these guys to come to the sweltering heat...say hello to Brad Winchester, Iowa Star #1, and Iowa Star #2...YIPPEEEEE!!!! Again, no offense Brad! I forgot to mention there was one other piece of news earlier in the week...a story posted on the team website..."Stars Remain Prudent." What a great way to compete with all the other headlines...and the cheapest (FYI...double meaning intended!). The funniest thing about the story is that the only reason it was posted was because Stars' fans were out in force...flooding the offices with calls and emails! I hate to even admit the thought I had on the way to work this morning...but had Mikey Mo known what was going to happen since the lockout...including the latest Armstrong failures...he would have joined another team. As a matter of fact...Armstrong almost buried himself that very day...but instead has been able to extort the Stars' faithful a little while longer.
Let us take a brief look at the ongoing debacle that is Doug Armstrong. Bob Gainey was given the boot because that's the business of hockey. Never-mind he carefully and wisely crafted the only Stanley Cup winning team the Stars' franchise has ever had. Since then, Doug Armstrong has managed to get rid of Derian Hatcher, Richard Matvichuk, Darryl Sydor (twice), Bret Hull, Bill Guerin, Scott Young, Pierre Turgeon, and the list goes on. I actually consider Hull, Guerin, and Hatcher to be twice-offended as well...as each of them could have been brought back into the fold. Hull let it be known clearly and publicly that he simply wanted 2 years instead of 1. What a mongrel...how dare he...that would break the bank! Without question, a few of those players needed to move on. However, Hull and Guerin went on to score 30+ goals the year after they left us, and Sydor won another Cup (and likely will again as early as this year!). Armstrong and company never even responded to the initial offer by Darryl's agent...did not even call this fan favorite to tell him they could not afford him and good luck with your new team. What a great example of how to treat a man who, as Stars' fans vividly remember, tried to help his team while lying on the ice in extreme agony. According to various sources, Dallas could have taken legitimate shots at Ryan Smyth, Paul Kariya, and Danius Zubrus. Then there is Slava Kozlov, who had a better offer on the table from Dallas and chose to stay in Atlanta. Could the reason be that he saw what the rest of us are seeing...one scoring winger is not going to be enough...we need at least two and a player like Winchester. But 1 out of 3 is not enough. 2 out of 3 are not enough. I honestly hope the Stars are not banking on re-signing Lindros and riding him through June...they might as well buy a lottery ticket. Losing Sydor was not optimal...but our d-corp is stacked deep. I would still very much like to see him replaced with a top-4 defenseman...even if it means losing Miettinen or Jokinen or Klemm.
Whether we sign it or trade for it, I do not care...we need some help. Please Army...before the business of hockey eliminates you...spend some of Mr. Hicks' money...his arm can be easily twisted! And for the record...if you think season ticket sales have dropped off significantly since the lockout...just wait until another first-round playoff exit. At least make an attempt to save your job while saving Dallas Stars' fans.