LAST SEASON: 40-31-11, 91 points, 5th Central Division. Made Western Conference playoffs as wild card, lost first-round playoff series in six games to top-seeded Anaheim.
COACH: Lindy Ruff, 2nd season with Stars, 40-31-11; 17th season overall in NHL, was 571-432-162 in Buffalo.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jamie Benn. In his first season as the Stars captain, the 25-year-old Canadian ranked eighth in the NHL with 79 points and ninth with 34 goals. Both were career highs, as was his plus-21 rating. Benn has increasingly accepted his role as a leader on a team filled with plenty of 20-something players, and is part of a dynamic scoring line with Tyler Seguin.
OUTLOOK: With the experience of a hard-fought first-round series in their first season under veteran Ruff, the Stars expect to do more than just make the playoffs this time around. That is a reasonable goal with their added scoring punch. With Benn and Seguin on the front line, the Stars will have another line with 31-year-old former Ottawa teammates Spezza and Hemsky likely together.