Dvorak Adds Needed Veteran Presence
New Dallas Stars forward Radek Dvorak is not the same hockey player he used to be.
PHOTO CREDIT: ASSOCIATED PRESS
The veteran Czech enters his 16th NHL season as a reliable utility player, and now an asset of the Dallas Stars for the upcoming season. The former Panther, Oiler, Ranger, Blue and Thrasher has gone through all sorts of team types. Winning teams, losing teams, teams that made the playoffs, teams that didn't even come close.
The now young Dallas Stars team will come to love that veteran experience. The former first round pick of the Florida Panthers in 1995 has had an up-and-down career with his laundry list of former teams, but with the Stars, it won't be about his production. It will be about the character that he brings.
Dvorak has the ability to score. At least he used to have it, anyway. He scored 15 or more goals in 6 seasons, including a career high of 31 with the Rangers in the 2000-01 season. Looking at what the 34 year old brings now, his numbers have been on the decline. The Thrashers picked him up at the trade deadline to bring a different look to both sides of the ice. He only posted one assist in 13 games.
Defensively speaking, Dvorak is a utility player. He played a shade over 16 minutes per game last season. He also brings along penalty killing in his toolbox.
Put him with scorers, he will do something. Put him with checkers, he will do something. The Stars made a safe move to get a flexible veteran player than can do a lot. Maybe not as well as some may want, but enough to be successful in Big D.
The Stars lost a lot of veteran leadership with the departure of Brad Richards and Jamie Langenbrunner. GM Joe Nieuwendyk added plenty of experience with Radek Dvorak. Just promise me you won't expect him to be the new source of offense for the Stars, okay?
Stay tuned to The Checking Line for everything hockey this summer! Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/jckuhns