Photo: Winger Alex Guptill has two goals, two assists through his first five games of 2013-14, contributing to Michigan’s 4-1-1 start to the season (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The Dallas Stars, amid management and coaching changes, have gathered quite an impressive herd of prospects in recent years. The aforementioned front office changes obviously have a trickle-down effect with regard to the on-ice product and as a result, many of these terrific prospects have gotten at least a taste of NHL action.
Photo: Valeri Nichushkin, the Stars’ 10th overall pick in 2013, will make the transition to North America in 2013-14 (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The Dallas Stars, now under the new management of long time Red Wings assistant General Manager Jim Nill, continue to augment their stellar prospect group. Adding blue-chip prospect Valeri Nichushkin really helps to push the Stars further into the elite category among league-wide cupboards.
Photo: Rookie pro Alex Chiasson was sidelined by injury after a great debut in Dallas. Upon his return during the AHL playoffs, other injuries in the Texas lineup forced him to make the difficult shift to center (courtesy of Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)
Despite a resolute late push by the now-younger Dallas Stars in the regular season, they were unable to clinch a playoff berth for the fifth consecutive season. And once again, upheaval was afoot. The Stars sacked head coach Glen Gulutzan after two seasons but not before canning general manager Joe Nieuwendyk as well. Conversely, at the minor league level, the Texas Stars enjoyed a very successful regular season and won a playoff round.
Photo: Nicklas Jensen, shown here skating for Team Denmark, is expected to return to North America after his season ends in the Swedish Elite League. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
For the Vancouver Canucks organization, regular season success over the last half-decade has been a dual-edged sword. Winners of multiple President’s Trophies and continually atop the Northwest Division standings, any neutral hockey enthusiast might think it is crazy to label their success a bane. But on two levels, this success has presented challenges that few organizations would covet.
Photo: Defenseman Chris Tanev has been one of the best blueliners at both ends of the rink for the Chicago Wolves thus far in 2012-13. (courtesy of Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
Considering that the Chicago Wolves have played the fewest games in their conference to this point in the 2012-13 season, they are enjoying a modicum of success. Though currently sitting in 10th spot, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks is still within striking distance of a top five seeding.