Dallas Stars Fan Voted 2008-09 Lineup - Petersen's RW
Brenden Morrow-Mike Ribeiro-Jere Lehtinen
Sean Avery-Brad Richards-Loui Eriksson
Steve Ott-Mike Modano-Fabian Brunnstrom
Joel Lundqvist-Toby Petersen-4th Line Right Wing
Matt Niskanen-Sergei Zubov
Trevor Daley-Philippe Boucher
Nicklas Grossman-Stephane Robidas
I really considered Sawada, but does he fight? I think Dallas should have at least one fighter on the 4th line. Ott and Avery are going to be pissing people off, but they are also going to be important contributors in other areas, more so Avery. Either one of them spending too many 5 minutes majors in the box would be a bad thing. Dallas needs a bruiser to help them out. I'm going with Crombeen over Barch.
Sawada, playing in the NCAA, hasn't fought since the BCHL. But he was quoted earlier this year as saying he's never lost a fight (he was an 18yo fighting against older guys in Junior A). I for one wouldn't bet against him in a tilt.
As for a fighter that's not important at all with the how the rules are set up having a fighter is about as useful now as carrying a 7th defenseman making $5 million. With the current instigator rules.
He's cheap to keep on the roster, and he had a great preseason last year. If he does it again, he probably gets the first look partly for cap reasons.
I see Neal as filling in for injury (probably to Lehtinen) after first becoming a consistent pro and then sticking.
Sawada, I think will be a strong player, but I don't know if sticking him on the 4th line is the best way to get everything out of him. He would probably do well there, but I'd rather develop him to the max.
I'm not a fan of Wathier. Crombeen I could see sticking for the same reason: cheaper and decent.
Trust me on one thing: the staff's and fans' assessment of players can be strikingly different. Just because someone doesn't impress us doesn't mean the organization doesn't see something in him. For me, Wathier is a prime example of this. I recognize that he could just as easily take that final spot even though I don't care for him as a player (you absolutely will not find a harder worker though). He has the cheaper thing going for him too. I think the big thing for those three (Conner, Crombeen, Wathier) is that they don't have to worry about ruining a potential Top 9 guy with limited ice time. They're all at best really 4th liners that can maybe fill in on the 3rd line in spots.