The Dallas Stars saddle up for the new season with hopes of ending their three-year absence from the playoffs. Dallas hosts the Colorado Avalanche for their second match-up of the pre-season. General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk looks to reboot his team, which, in recent seasons, has established potential, but has been unable to make the transition into the postseason. Glen Gulutzan, former coach of the Dallas Stars minor league affiliate, the Texas Stars, signed on as Dallas' new head coach June 16, but the start of the new season dwells in the aftermath of the September 7 incident, in which, the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team of the Kontinental Hockey League was killed in a plane crash. Former Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins was a member of the team. The Stars seek to find traction amid tragedy and disappointing seasons of the past. Coach Gulutzan hopes to contribute towards achieving that sense of redemption. "We are a young team with a strong nucleus," Gulutzan said on the Dallas Stars website. His priority is to build a team that "will win and compete for Stanley Cups." Those hardly seem like original words coming from a new head coach, but perhaps Gulutzan will make good on his word and revamp an ambitious team. The Stars meet the Avalanche on the ice at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at American Airlines Center. Tickets are $15 to $300. For the season schedule, visit stars.nhl.com. For tickets, go to ticketmaster.com.
Thu., Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m., 2011