DALLAS (AP) - There's an irony about the Dallas Stars.
Even with Mike Modano about to become the NHL's top
American-born scorer, his team will have to rely on defense and
goaltending to win.
The Stars are coming off their third-straight first-round
playoff exit after having one of the league's lowest-scoring teams
with 2.65 goals per game. Still, they didn't add a premier scorer.
So Dallas begins the new season tomorrow night at Colorado with
basically the same core group.
At least that means the Stars still have the goaltending tandem
of Marty Turco and Mike Smith, helped by top defensemen Sergei
Zubov, Philippe Boucher and Mattias Norstrom. Norstrom was the
longtime Los Angeles Kings captain who came in a trade-deadline
deal last February.
But the Stars will have to start without top returning scorer
Mike Ribeiro, who's on the injured list because of a high ankle sprain. Ribeiro had 18 goals and 41 assists last season.
Modano begins his 18th season, all with the Stars franchise,
needing only seven points to reach No. 1,233. That would pass Phil
Housley for career scoring by a U.S.-born player. Modano's 507
goals already top that list among U.S.-born players.
The 37-year-old Modano is the only remaining player who made the
move with the team from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993.