2013 Season Review: The rest of the forwards

Erik Cole

Erik Cole came to Dallas as part of that much-maligned Michael Ryder trade about a month into the season. He was working as a second/third liner in Montreal and took that same role with Dallas, ostensibly replacing Brenden Morrow.

On the ice, Cole had some nice games here and there, but he really failed to impress in his short time with the Stars. He had a bunch of different linemates in his time here, playing with Benn, Jagr, Eriksson, Whitney, Roy, Fiddler and Roussel during his time here.

His more noteworthy contributions weren’t things you would find on a statsheet.

He worked hard to get back on defense, was pretty much the only big body that Dallas could put in front of net and he worked with all the units of the team.

The 34-year-old is signed through the 2014-2015 season, and hopefully he’ll be in a better groove with Dallas next year.

2013 Stats: 28 GP, 6 goals, 1 assist, 7 points, -7 rating, 10 PIM (with Dallas)

                  19 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, +1 rating, 10 PIM (with Montreal)


Brenden Morrow

Coming into this season, the prevailing thought was that Morrow was pretty much that this was going to be his final year in Dallas. Once the Ryder-for-Cole trade was made, the writing was wall that a Morrow trade would be following soon.

That all came to fruition a week before the trade deadline when he was sent to Pittsburgh (along with a third-round pick) for Joe Morrow and a fifth-round pick.

It was a tough way for the longtime Stars captain to end his career here. He had been a liability in Dallas the past year with his numerous bonehead penalties and severely declining production.

He’d been reduced to a third-line grinder role coming into the year before finding a bit of a rejuvenation playing with Benn and Jagr.

 He was on his way to a pretty productive season with Dallas before his trade, and he did very well in his time with the Penguins. I’m hoping Morrow gets his Cup this season with Pittsburgh.

2013 Prediction: 38 GP, 13 goals, 6 assists, 19 points, -4, 48 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 29 GP, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points, -8, 18 PIM (with Dallas)

                               15 GP, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points, +5, 19 PIM (with Pittsburgh)

Cody Eakin

No one really knew what to expect out of Cody Eakin this year. He had a very small sample size of games with the Stars organization, mostly down in Austin, and he suddenly found himself getting first and second-line minutes to start the year with Dallas. He ended up being one of only five guys on the team to play in all 48 games.

The thing is, he certainly deserved all the time he got. Eakin had a fantastic year with Dallas and always found himself in a good place with the puck.

He would have had double-digit goals if he had a better shooting percentage in the first and last months of the season. He was energetic on the ice and was the second best face-off guy on the team.

Eakin seemed to have solid chemistry with whoever he played with, whether it was Reilly Smith or Jagr. Trading Ribeiro for Eakin was always going to be a good deal, but I’m not sure anyone thought it would be this good.

Eakin is going to be firmly entrenched centering the second line next year and should continue to grow his game.

2013 Prediction: 40 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, +2, 10 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 48 GP, 7 goals, 17 assists, 24 points, +1, 31 PIM

Ancillary stats of note: 48.6 FO%, 71 hits, 82:27 SH TOI (third-most among forwards)


Antoine Roussel

Where the hell did this kid come from? I’m not sure anyone thought that Antoine Roussel would see any time in Dallas let alone become a staple in the lineup.

The Frenchman got off to a raucous start, scoring a goal in his first NHL game and registering seven points in his first month of play. His energy, style of play and exuberance on the ice basically made him a mini Steve Ott on the ice.

Dare I say he became a fan favorite?

He led the team in penalty minutes, was a tough forechecker and was one of the few willing fighters on the team. He was basically willing to take anyone on and found himself fighting Jarome Iginla in his first week with the team.

He vastly exceeded expectations, one of the few players to do so.

Roussel looks like he’ll be a good depth player for the team next season, the final year of his ELC.

2013 Stats: 39 GP, 7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points, +3 rating, 85 PIM

Ancillary stats of note: 75 hits, 7 fights (tied for most among team)


Vernon Fiddler

For the first three months of the year, I wondered if Vernon Fiddler was a possible buy-out possibility.

Then April came around, and Fiddler turned into Sidney Crosby. After registering just six points in the first three months of the year, Fiddler turned in a stretch of six games in which he had 10 points and, for the first two weeks of April, was the most prolific player in the league post-trade deadline.

I have no idea where that sudden burst of points came from; I doubt even Fiddler knows.

His play was a catalyst though in the Stars winning five straight games to start April and getting themselves back in the playoff hunt (or are we angry at that?).

In April, Fiddler had points in seven of 13 games, and Dallas won six of those. The Stars lost all six games in which Fiddler didn’t record a point.

Fiddler did his usual things throughout the year. He led the forwards in short-handed ice time and was the best face-off guy on the team. He’ll be back next year for the exact same role.

2013 Prediction: 44 GP, 3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points, -8, 26 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 46 GP, 4 goals, 13 assists, 17 points, +3, 48 PIM

Ancillary stats of note: 51.5 FO%, 109:45 SH TOI, 2 PP points


Eric Nystrom

Nystrom was the biggest surprise on the team during the 2011-12 season. He was somehow one of the more prolific scorers on the team and a solid depth-line player.

Coming into this season, I expected the goals totals to fall off considerably. To my surprise, he actually had numbers that would have equaled last season’s totals if an 82 game season had been played.

He started out very slowly with just three points in the first two months of the year, but he picked it up and was quite good down the stretch.

His 14.3 shooting percentage was the second highest of his career, and he would have been on pace for a career high in points if a full season had been played.

With Nystrom though, it’s not about the scoring. It’s about the work rate. He led all forwards in hits, worked hard on the forecheck and became the go-to pugilist on the team whenever a spark was needed.

He was also one of the few to play all 48 games despite his rough style of play.

Nystrom will be a UFA this summer, and I really hope Dallas re-signs him. He’s a pretty solid cog in this team and is one of the few guys who will muck it up on the ice.

2013 Prediction: 48 GP, 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points, -6, 14 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 48 GP, 7 goals, 4 assists, 11 points, -3, 61 PIM

Ancillary stats of note: 122 hits, 14.3 S%, 104.45 SH TOI (second-most among forwards), 7 fights, 3 GWG (tied for most on team)


Reilly Smith

It was a tough year for Reilly Smith. He came into the season with a lot of promise, and he certainly showed how effective he could be. He had an enormous amount of scoring chances this season and was always in a good position to make plays.

Unfortunately, the poor kid had negative amounts of luck and would only score three goals on the year. He could’ve easily led the team in goals if he had been able to put away even half of his golden scoring opportunities.

He just never got going during the year despite good chemistry with his linemates, mostly Eakin, and ended up getting sent back down the Austin. He’s a good player though, and I expect him to have another solid chance next year.

2013 Prediction: 40 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, 6 points, -2 rating, 6 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 37 GP, 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, 0 rating, 8 PIM


Alex Chiasson

I’m not sure anyone could have dreamed of a better start to Chiasson’s NHL career. The kid went pointless in his first game of his career but rattled off six goals in the next five contests as he suddenly became the most lethal player on the team.

There was no way he was going to maintain a shooting percentage of 50 percent, but I’m sure he would have continued to score more goals. He unfortunately suffered a shoulder injury in his seventh game of the year, against Chicago, that kept him out the rest of the year.

It’s an understatement to say that Chiasson showed a hell of a lot of promise in his short stint here. I’m looking forward to him spending most of his time with Dallas next season.

2013 Stats: 7 GP, 6 goals, 1 assist, 8 points, +3 rating, 0 PIM


Ryan Garbutt

Garbutt had a very underappreciated year with the team this season. He had three goals and 10 points on the season and was a main cog in the checking lines.

Despite just under 10 minutes of ice time per game, Garbutt nearly had more shots on goal than the likes of Ray Whitney and Cody Eakin. He would’ve probably been in the top five of this team in shots on goal if he had not broken his hand and missed a chunk of games.

Again, that’s pretty ridiculous for a guy averaging fewer than 10 minutes a game.

He’s an effective player in the limited amount of ice time that he receives and should be in the same role next season.

2013 Prediction: 40 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, -1 rating, 18 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 36 GP, 3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points, +1 rating, 32 PIM

Ancillary stats of note: 67 hits, 59 SOG


Tomas Vincour

Vincour didn’t last very long with the club this season. He saw limited minutes in the first three months of the year (10+ minutes in only two of his 15 games with Dallas) and was shipped to Colorado in a mostly unnoticed deal that got Cameron Gaunce in return.

Vincour would only see two games with Colorado.

2013 Prediction: 36 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points, 0 rating, 2 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 15 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points, 0 rating, 2 PIM (with Dallas)

                             2 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -1 rating, 2 PIM (with Colorado)


Tom Wandell

Wandell did what most people thought Wandell would do, have trouble registering points. He started out the season with Dallas but was sent down to Austin at the end of January.

He wouldn’t return to Dallas until after the trade deadline in April. He would average around five minutes a night and had only one point during the year, a goal that no one saw coming.

Wandell’s been a huge disappointment in his time with Dallas. He had numerous chances playing the No. 2 center, and even No. 1 guy, but just never got comfortable in those roles.

He’s an RFA this year, and I just don’t see any way he stays with Dallas.

2013 Prediction: 24 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -2 rating, 6 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 18 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, 0 rating, 4 PIM


Lane MacDermid

Lane MacDermid came to Dallas as part of the Jagr deal and surprisingly looked like a very useful player.

He had goals in his first two games with Dallas but suffered a chest injury that kept him out for an extended amount of time.

MacDermid should be one of those in-and-out-of-the-lineup guys next year.

2013 Stats: 6 GP, 2 goals, 0 assists, 2 points, +1 rating, 9 PIM


Matt Fraser

Fraser surprisingly played in 12 games this year with Dallas, registering one goal and two assists. I don’t remember him having too much of an impact in any of the games in played in though, so I’m not sure what exactly to make of it.

He’ll probably be back with Dallas next year as a fourth-line guy moving between the AHL and NHL.

2013 Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, 0 rating, 0 PIM


Colton Sceviour

Blink and you might’ve missed Sceviour’s time with Dallas. He played in one game and had an assist.

Unfortunately, I don’t see him getting much time with Dallas next year either because of the young guys making their way through the organization.

2013 Prediction: 3 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, 0 rating, 0 PIM

2013 Actual Stats: 1 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -1 rating, 0 PIM


Toby Peterson

Hi Toby.

Bye Toby.

2013 Prediction: 2 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, 0 rating, 0 PIM, much more time spent in Austin than in Dallas

2013 Actual Stats: 1 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, 0 rating, 0 PIM