Game 1 without Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy is in the books, and it went exactly the way most of us expected it to—the young Stars played with a lot of heart but couldn’t find a way to beat the top Ducks. And let’s be honest, the game could have been a lot worse than it was.
In fact, the first period was tremendously entertaining, as we saw a physical Stars team take on the Ducks. My personal favorite moment was when Aaron Rome checked Daniel Winnik, who then woozily went back to the bench (I just about died laughing at Winnik’s disorientation). The Stars were gutsy, even if they weren’t that good. If they play with that kind of tenacious mentality with a skilled team, they’ll go far.
I was really happy to see new addition Lane MacDermid score in his Stars debut for a few reasons. One, is that he has a reputation as an enforcer, and it’s nice that he’s showing depth beyond that role. And two, I’m determined to defend the returns in the Roy and Jagr trades (especially the latter) because those players are garnering unnecessary hate from disappointed fans. I want MacDermid, Cody Payne, and Kevin Connauton to be the best players ever just to disprove the haters.
I know a lot of people think that we didn’t get good value for our departed players, which is understandable. But here’s the thing: we’ll never know what the other offers for Roy and Jagr were. There’s a very real possibility that the returns were got were truly the best deals. I don’t really mind the Jagr deal because it could’ve gone the Brad Richards route and we wouldn’t have gotten anything for him. Again. These moves also remind me of that great Herb Brooks quote from Miracle,
“I’m not looking for the best players; I’m looking for the right ones.”
If these are the players that are going to play a part in the rebuild, then I’m content. We currently don’t have much of an identity, but we’re working towards that.
GM Joe and the front office blew up the team, but we have to believe that they were doing the right thing. By trading away Jagr and Roy, the team basically forfeited and accepted that the playoffs are not in the team’s future this season. Which is completely okay. As much as I hate to see the Stars lose, it’s worth noting that in the current standings they sit seventh from the bottom. Just think—if they continue to lose, that could turn into a top 5 draft pick. In a deep draft, that one player could be one of the missing pieces.
You know what I think is going to happen in these remaining games? I think we’re going to see a team that plays hard and is full of heart. However, that team will not be good enough to qualify for a playoff spot. These new look Stars are just too inexperienced and are missing crucial pieces. But they’re on their way. There is hope. Don’t think for a second that the Stars are doomed.
Rebuilds are tough, but every team has to go through this at some point. After trying to rebuild and contend at the same time, GM Joe and company are finally settling for just one of those options, and I think this spells good things for the Stars.
I like the direction we’re heading, I really do.