With the Dallas Stars entering next season with a new head coach behind the bench in Peter DeBoer, owner Tom Gaglardi is hoping to see a change in the performances of some of the team's biggest stars.
DeBoer was named head coach last month, replacing Rick Bowness, who departed the club two seasons after guiding Dallas to the Stanley Cup Final in the 2020 bubble. The Stars were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season after missing the postseason entirely in 2020-21.
“We have far too many players who are underperforming offensively,” Gaglardi told Saad Yousuf of The Athletic. “We need something to change.”
Gaglardi specifically pointed to the team's two highest-paid forwards in Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn as examples.
Seguin, who carries a cap hit of $9.85 million through the 2026-27 season, posted 24 goals and 49 points in 81 games last season after appearing in just three games the previous year due to off-season surgery. The 30-year-old forward added two goals and four points in seven games during Dallas' seven-game series against the Calgary Flames.
Benn, signed at a cap hit of $9.5 million through 2024-25, had 18 goals and 46 points in 82 games last season. The 33-year-old Stars captain had one goal and two points in seven playoff games.
“I think those guys signed those contracts and they’ve got to find a way to deliver that kind of value,” Gaglardi said. “If they don’t, it hampers the team. That’s the reality of it. They know that.
"I’ve talked to Jamie; he knows he’s got to find more. He’s working hard this summer. I met with him in Dallas after the season ended. He knows what he’s got to do… Those guys know they’ve got to bring more.
“You just hope that a little change at the top, a different voice, some tweaks, and we can fix some of our structural problems, mostly on the offensive side of the puck. I think we’re close.”
The Stars, who finished fourth in the Central Division with 98 points last season, added forward Mason Marchment and defenceman Colin Miller in free agency. The team currently has $11.46 million in cap space, per CapFriendly, with winger Jason Robertson and goaltender Jake Oettinger still to sign as restricted free agents after career years for both players.
Robertson scored a team-high 41 goals and posted 79 points in 74 games last season, while Oettinger went 30-15-1 as the team's starter with a .914 save percentage and a 2.53 goals-against average.