2021-22 Post Mortem

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Troy McClure
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2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Troy McClure »

At some point, I might think about player grades or something, but I instead decided to wake up and take a look at where this team stands. To follow talk from the other day about how last season was written off as a lost cause because of the injuries to Seguin, Bishop, and others along the way, I thought I'd take a look at these two regular seasons to see how they compare to get a feel for how much better this team was over last season. Here you go:

21vs22.jpg
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The offense is virtually identical. The top line produced a lot of offense. No one else did much of anything. Even with the whole team almost completely healthy all season, this season's scoring rate compared to last equals a growth of 4.1 goals. Not 4.1 per game or per month. 4.1 goals total. With Seguin back and Radulov back, you'd think you might find a bit more scoring balance down the lineup even if those aren't big numbers players any longer, but that didn't happen. Funny enough, the non-first line forwards scored the exact same putrid number of goals per game this season as last. What did drop off was goals scored by the defense.

Goal Scoring.jpg
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The main difference between the seasons seems to entirely boil down to three things:

1) Getting back to a normal playoff format with a wild card option to back into.
2) The first line got better.
3) Oettinger figured out how to stop breakaways, which is a massive contributor in the Stars having much better OT and shootout results.

Otherwise, the rest of the team gave pretty much the same mediocre performance as last season. This franchise is not in a good place.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by wonko80 »

Well apparently Peter DeBoer is available now.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by slaps »

Pass. The guy who could never get the Sharks a Cup despite having a ton of talent?
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Math »

Bowness will be back anyway as part of the "one goal away from beating the Pacific division champs and 2022 playoffs second rounder".
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by wonko80 »

It is interesting to see how our top line being "dominant" was offset by the defense not scoring at all.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by ScubaSteve »

I'm not willing to crunch the numbers, but I would wager that if you removed OT and shootouts, this regular season and last season would look even more identical.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by B Kat »

We need $ to fix problems, specifically secondary scoring. Benn and Seguin take up so much cap space, there isn't much left to upgrade the offense. Maybe one of the kids comes up and fills in.

Peterson is a potential positive, maybe Harley adds to the offense. How much is left for next season after Radulov and Klingberg are gone, Pavelski's lower cap hit and Heiskenen's increase? Not too much.

So we got, Robertson, Hintz, Pavelski and then not too much. I expect Heiskenen to improve offensively, he has been shooting a lot more and taking charge. Also with Klingberg gone, that will help Heiskenen. (JMO). But losing Klingberg absolutely hurts, so it's not a wash.

Oettinger is an RFA also.

Doesn't look like there is any easy fix.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by slaps »

The money thing is an easy excuse. Other GMs manage to work around cap issues and be creative. That's part of being a GM.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by B Kat »

The money issue is not an easy excuse. It's a reality. Nill did sign those contracts so it's on him. But what can he do now? Buyouts? No trades exist for either of them. There is no easy way out of those contracts. That's 20 million, or 25 % of the cap.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by ToddM »

I would absolutely buy out Benn. His decline and lethargic play are pretty much a given now, with almost zero upside. At this point his production could be equalled by a randomly-generated AHL forward given his 2nd line minutes and PP time. It's not my money, and I have no idea how much a buyout would cost, but whatevs. Probably Seguin is at or near this point too.

We've also got some offensive phenoms in the minors, but I would never bring them up and have them coached by Bowness.

We had more than one chance to get Boudreau before Vancouver did, and decided to stay the course. Meanwhile Boudreau took a lottery team that was competing with Montreal for the first overall pick and in half a season brought them within a handful of points of the Dominated By The Avs Seed. That coulda been us! Ah well.

I wouldn't fire Nill, tho. He seems to be getting a lot better at drafting, even as the trades have dried up.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Math »

I don't blame Nill for the albatross contracts of Benn and Seguin. They were amongst the League top forwards back at the time, any GM would have given them the same exact contract. Nobody really could predict Benn's abysmal drop-off in production along with Seguin's injuries.

However, Lindell's contract is a bit stingy, there was no rush to give Faksa that loaded contract. The Suter signing is awful: duration, clauses, money, it's a major fail especially knowing Suter's off-ice influence and it's not if Jason Arnott threw a stone in the pond. That was widely known in Minnesota and Nashville. Nill didn't do any homework on this one and fucked up big time. My fear is that he contaminates the whole locker room and I really feel for Miro in this context.

So in this situation, call me crazy or dumb but I'm all in for a Suter buyout. It will cost the Stars $1.4M next season, $750k the next two, and $1M the final years. Totally manageable IMO and we may prevent potential major issues by doing so. Radulov and Klingberg will be off the books, the goal is also to find the best possible return for Gurianov.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by slaps »

B Kat wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 2:32 pm The money issue is not an easy excuse. It's a reality. Nill did sign those contracts so it's on him. But what can he do now? Buyouts? No trades exist for either of them. There is no easy way out of those contracts. That's 20 million, or 25 % of the cap.
But what I am saying is that other GM's have the same or similar issues and find a way to make it work. Or at least the ones with good teams do.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by slaps »

Math wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 2:47 pm I don't blame Nill for the albatross contracts of Benn and Seguin. They were amongst the League top forwards back at the time, any GM would have given them the same exact contract. Nobody really could predict Benn's abysmal drop-off in production along with Seguin's injuries.

However, Lindell's contract is a bit stingy, there was no rush to give Faksa that loaded contract. The Suter signing is awful: duration, clauses, money, it's a major fail especially knowing Suter's off-ice influence and it's not if Jason Arnott threw a stone in the pond. That was widely known in Minnesota and Nashville. Nill didn't do any homework on this one and fucked up big time. My fear is that he contaminates the whole locker room and I really feel for Miro in this context.

So in this situation, call me crazy or dumb but I'm all in for a Suter buyout. It will cost the Stars $1.4M next season, $750k the next two, and $1M the final years. Totally manageable IMO and we may prevent potential major issues by doing so. Radulov and Klingberg will be off the books, the goal is also to find the best possible return for Gurianov.
I'm on board with getting rid of Suter. Trade Faksa, find a trade partner for Lindell. If Lindell doesn't want to go, bench his ass until he decides somewhere is preferable. There are ways to encourage players to waive NMCs and it's time Nill started looking at that.

Faksa and Suter would be addition by subtraction.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Troy McClure »

slaps wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 2:57 pm
B Kat wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 2:32 pm The money issue is not an easy excuse. It's a reality. Nill did sign those contracts so it's on him. But what can he do now? Buyouts? No trades exist for either of them. There is no easy way out of those contracts. That's 20 million, or 25 % of the cap.
But what I am saying is that other GM's have the same or similar issues and find a way to make it work. Or at least the ones with good teams do.
I'm not sure many teams have escaped truly bad contracts. The other teams with dual albatross contracts like these have mostly had to ride them out.

LA signed some bad deals after their two Cups, and they've been floundering in obscurity missing the playoffs for a few seasons in a row to only now start to emerge with hope. They were lucky to be able to get out from a couple of them with buyouts/terminations far easier than what the Stars face with Benn/Seguin.

Chicago has Kane playing well but Toews has dropped off below Benn's level, but they've been an awful team the past several seasons with no real hope for the future when the Jones contract kicks in next season.

Minnesota was on the path to eternal obscurity with their dual bad contracts. They bought their way out of those bad deals, but the cost kicks in next season where they're going to pay a serious cap penalty for years that will hurt their roster.

San Jose's cap hell might be the worst in the league with nothing they can do but wait for years to pass.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Troy McClure »

ToddM wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 2:40 pm I would absolutely buy out Benn. His decline and lethargic play are pretty much a given now, with almost zero upside. At this point his production could be equalled by a randomly-generated AHL forward given his 2nd line minutes and PP time. It's not my money, and I have no idea how much a buyout would cost, but whatevs. Probably Seguin is at or near this point too.
Buying out Benn saves virtually nothing. His contract was structured to be buyout proof. It would mean carrying an $8.8 million cap penalty for the next three seasons. The savings amounts to the cost of a league minimum player.

As much as Benn's game has regressed, he's still a 40 something point a season guy, and no you can't duplicate that with any random AHLer. The Stars can't even draft first round forwards capable of putting up 40 points. As much as it sucks, the Stars are still better off paying Benn $9.5 million to produce 40 something points than they are buying him out to replace him with a league minimum AHLer who might with luck hit 10 points.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by B Kat »

Buying out Benn at this point would not save much in cap space for the first three years. According to Cap Friendly, cap hit would be 8.3 million for 3 seasons and then 3 more seasons at .333 million, if I am reading that correctly.

https://www.capfriendly.com/buyout-calc ... nn#results

Then we still have Seguin, and his contract is 1 year longer than Benn. Buy 'em both out, yay, but the team will still be cap strapped.

The Suter contract, though he did perform just fine for his 3.65 mil cap hit this season, will probably look worse as time goes on. Locker room cancer talk is just noise. Pavelski seems to like him.

Faksa even slightly overpaid is a blip in the grand scheme and Lindell had 25 points in 76 games, +4 on a minus team and plays hard minutes. One guy on the internet decided fancy stats say Lindell sucks, but he's a solid defensemen even for 5.8 mil.

Either we get some great newbies or it's mediocrity for the time being.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by slaps »

Faksa is overpaid, and so is Lindell. You can't say that the Stars can't afford to upgrade but then dismiss guys that are overpaid as a "blip." It's either be mediocre to bad, or be ruthless. No one is taking Benn or Seguin, so if you want to bring in players that can actually play well, Faksa and Lindell are the kind of guys you have to dump. Bye bye to Faksa, use Peterson instead, you've saved $2MM or so. Dump Lindell, use Hanley or find a guy like Kempny for $3MM or $4MM, save $2MM to $2.5MM. Trade Gurianov for a good middle-six guy like Blake Coleman (not actually him, but a guy like that).
Those are the decisions the front office has to make if they want to be competitive. If they don't (more likely), then yeah, it's just more and more mediocrity.

Maybe just a better coaching staff and a better style of play gets more out of a second or third line, but that's questionable without bringing in a real second line that's capable. Those guys are out there and at price points the Stars can play in, but it requires good talent evaluation and finding the "hidden gems."

The Stars have historically been really bad at finding underutilized and/or improperly utilized guys and finding a good fit for them by putting the into a position to succeed. The Stars more typically demand that a player play to the Stars' system regardless of the player's actual strengths.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by ScubaSteve »

Gaglardi is too cheap to buy out a big contract.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by B Kat »

No problem trading Faksa and maybe that can even happen. Dumping Lindell won't net much in $ if he needs to be replaced or in better play. Lindell plays hard minutes. A team needs more than just offensive D men, and while Lindell can skate ok his forte is defense, penalty kill. The Lindell hate is unwarranted, imo. If Lindell can be traded for something great, ok, but he doesn't bring nothing, nor will his minutes and play be easily replaced.
Trade Gurianov, he brings little and he won't net much either. Coleman would have been lovely, he was unaffordable. The Stars do need some grit, they are stay puff soft. But every team is looking for those same players so it's not like the Stars are the only team vying for a player. Most good players never come to market nor are they traded. These are just realities.

Peterson is not gonna replace Faksa, but Glendenning can. And outside of Suter, who again, has earned his keep so far, the other players brought in this last season were good signs, Glendenning, Rafl and Hakanpaa.

I'm not advocating doing nothing, or that all these players are untouchable, just that the options are pretty limited for the Stars b/c of the Benn and Seguin contracts.

And really, the Stars mostly need a second scoring threat. That should be Benn and Seguin and it isn't. And we can't move them or rid their cap. So pray for the babies.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by BigAl »

So all we need to do is replace the GM, coach, and players.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by wonko80 »

Suter has not earned his keep. Unless you were expecting the ply of 6/7th defenseman type. Does not deserve second pairing nor PP minutes and is therefore overpaid for 3rd pairing.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by B Kat »

Suter’s salary is 3.65 mil. He had 32 points in 82 games played and was +4. He averaged 23+ minutes per game. Much better than one might expect. He’s earned his keep. 13 of those points were on the PP. His usage there, could be debated, but not terrible all things considered.

Edit- I do understand questioning his PP time and top player status. But his overall results are more than worth 3.65 mil.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Troy McClure »

BigAl wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 5:51 pm So all we need to do is replace the GM, coach, and players.
A complete reset on philosophy might not be a bad idea. This current structure missed the playoffs last season, backed into the playoffs this season, and was an amazing seven Oettinger performances away from being soundly embarrassed in the first round this season. The team seems to be in a bad spot going forward with the cap situation and roster certain to get worse next season.

GM: That said, I don’t really care about replacing Nill. I get the feeling his hands are tied by Gaglardi. My main gripe about Nill has more to do with his decisions to keep Bowness than with his players moves. I mean, his owner won’t let him sell players or make liberal use of rhe buyout option. I actually give Nill some credit for taking away players Bowness was excessively loyal to despite poor performance. Bowness was going to play Comeau every game and start Khudobin too much until Nill got rid of them.

Coach: But yeah, Bowness needs to go. If this is the best he can get out of the team, it’s not good enough. Sure maybe the next guy won’t do better, but the only way to find out is to try. Sticking with something we know is bad makes no sense.

Players: Of course a bunch of players need to be replaced. Sadly, the ones most in need of replacement are Stars for life. Truly, the hardest thing to change of these three categories is the players, which only further drives him why changing the coaches needs to be done.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Troy McClure »

B Kat wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 7:15 pm Suter’s salary is 3.65 mil. He had 32 points in 82 games played and was +4. He averaged 23+ minutes per game. Much better than one might expect. He’s earned his keep. 13 of those points were on the PP. His usage there, could be debated, but not terrible all things considered.

Edit- I do understand questioning his PP time and top player status. But his overall results are more than worth 3.65 mil.
What’s going to suck is when Klingberg is gone, Suter’s role is going to increase. His ice time is going to increase next season. It’s guaranteed.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by ScubaSteve »

You might call it an expanded offensive role
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Math »

Suter has been terrible in this series, being constantly outplayed, out of position and often caught on odd-man rushes. He has always had the trend to melt in the playoffs (-26 in his carrer, low offensive production biased by the numerous second assists) and this is not gonna get better. And as Troy stated above, with Klingberg gone, his role and TOI will increase as well and that's really not a good trend with the youth knocking on the door. Maybe i'm paranoiac but I really feel for Heiskanen who has to play with him: he seems bothered, plays with brakes on. And again, it's also about the off-ice and than can become a real problem. Some Minnesota insiders were aware of that and right from day one. People there are absolutely delighted that him and Parisé are gone despite the huge cap penalty.

One problem remains though, the Stars will still need a top-4 right-handed defender (and please, no Petry).
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Troy McClure »

We're getting more from their season ending feedback.

Nill has one year left and plans to be back. Bowness has no contract but wants to be back. Nill will meet with Gaglardi soon to get his marching orders.


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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by slaps »

Not even trying to conceal what's going to happen, are they? Oh well, at least that means I won't be spending money on attending Stars games next season.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Math »

I'm just hoping that they are going a bit deeper in their post-season analysis than simply pinpoint the fantastic 98 points gained in the regular season. The OT/SO win percentage was a clear outlier and if you apply the League OT/SO success average, the Stars wouldn't even have made the playoffs.

But yeah, Nill and Bowness back next season seems inevitable.
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Re: 2021-22 Post Mortem

Post by Troy McClure »

Math wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 1:26 pm I'm just hoping that they are going a bit deeper in their post-season analysis than simply pinpoint the fantastic 98 points gained in the regular season. The OT/SO win percentage was a clear outlier and if you apply the League OT/SO success average, the Stars wouldn't even have made the playoffs.

But yeah, Nill and Bowness back next season seems inevitable.
And 98 points in a season isn't something to be proud of when you see where they finished overall. They're purposely pointing to that number to over inflate a mediocre season.
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