Stars Camp: Who Makes the Top Line?

The Dallas Stars are wrapping up camp in Breckenridge, Colorado today, to play the Avs in Denver tomorrow.

My big question all off-season has been, “how does coach Tippett work out the top line and the top 3 centers?” conventional wisdom has had either Modano or Arnott playing wing to create a top line of Modano-Arnott-Guerin.


Out of camp, it looks like that top line left wing spot has been awarded to one Ulf Dahlen. Ulfie, Mo, and Guerin have been playing very well…and almost exclusively…together.

Mike Modano said on Sportsradio 1310 the Ticket today that he was “pissed” that Ulfie ever got traded and he was very glad to have him back on his wing.

Thus, the lineups through camp have been as follows:


Muller (wow!)-Turgeon-Young


and Malhotra centering a parade of others on the fourth line.




It stands to reason that upon the arrival of Morrow, either Sim, Muller, or both will be bumped elsewhere. How about a THIRD line of Morrow-Arnott-Lehtinen, huh? Can I get everyone to agree that’s immediately the best third line in the game?

28 Responses to Stars Camp: Who Makes the Top Line?

  1. bones says:

    I think that 3rd line would rank right up there with the Ricci line in San Jose who I believe is the best 3rd line in the league. I am shocked to see Muller on the second line, but I believe he would do better than Morrow in that spot. Anyway, I still think this should be the lines.





  2. edmontonrules says:

    I don’t agree with making Dahlen a first liner.

  3. bones says:

    I think he could definately play the 1st line, and he has some chemistry with Mo, but I still think he would be better on a line with Guerin and Arnott. But I’m no Tippett and I wasn’t at camp.

  4. Rushing says:

    In today’s paper it was stated that Morrow is willing to come down on his offer yet wouldn’t state any certain offer. His agent is supposed to be talking now. The thing is, Morrow has no say right now. Either accept or too bad. The Stars are offering a 10% raise yet evidently Morrow wants more. He got $600,000 last year with about $250,000 bonus(actually a little more).

  5. freshprince says:

    Ok, firstly

    Modano will play with Guerin.


    Scott Youn was brought in to be re-united with Turgeon.

    Top 2 lines.

    Modano – Arnott – Guerin

    Young – Turgeon – Lehtnenin

  6. Rushing says:

    Sorry to disagree with “most” of you but rrudd had it correct. On the Dallas Stars site it shows that during training camp it has been Modano, Guerin, and Dahlen on the first line.

    Now, it is only the second day of training camp. But in the first official scrimmage of the season Sunday, the Stars coaches may have found the answer to that question in the form of veteran Ulf Dahlen.

    “He’s just such a solid player in all aspects, offensively and defensively,” Guerin said of Dahlen. “He’s just so strong with the puck that he’s never going to be a bad fit with anybody. I played a ton against him (in the Eastern Conference) and he was always very difficult to defend against, especially around the net.”

    Dahlen certainly seemed to fit perfectly alongside Modano and Guerin during Sunday’s scrimmage as those three provided the best, cleanest scoring chances of the day.

    Now the rest: IMO that is……..

    Turgeon, Young, Lehtinen

    Morrow, Arnott, Sim

    Muller, Malhotra, Ott

    The reason I don’t see Muller on that second line too long is because Muller just lowered his Offering of a contract. In other words, I think he will be playing real soon. That will knock Muller back down a notch or two. Also, the papers have been talking a good bit about Sim lately. In other words(once again), he has been looking pretty good and a lot is expected out of him from Tippett this season.

  7. bones says:

    ott and sim are left wings, and with all the rw signed this off season, i doubt those two will have to play an off wing. I’m referring to your 3rd and 4th line.

  8. Rushing says:

    Sim has played Center. If he is a LW, he is just now beginning to be tried as one. Any site(Dallas Stars excluded) have him as a Center. That is ESPN, NHLPA, etc……Arnott can play Center or wing on that line also.

  9. bones says:

    I know but you have Sim and Ott playing RW and they are left shots. Ott is a center too but can play LW. I’m not nitpicking, I just don’t see Tip playing those guys on the off wing.

  10. DTheEagleT says:

    Turgeon was pure crap on the wing last season. Even worse then he was at center

  11. Rushing says:

    I didn’t put them up there in any specific order. I just typed their names.

    Second, there are numerous lefties in the league that do play RW.

  12. rrudd says:

    here’s the breakdown:

    modano, arnott, and turgeon have been almost exclusively C’s throughout their careers, but all have played wing at some point, though it’s probably most logical to keep them at C when possible.

    guerin, young and dimaio all prefer and have played primarily RW, but can play off wing if they have to.

    lehtinen was originally a RW but has been stuck at LW so long, he’s just resigned to that. he plays either wing just fine. dahlen is very similar in this regard.

    morrow and gainey are exclusively LW’s. pellerin is almost exclusively LW as well, but i have seen him playing off, and even C once, too.

    muller, malhotra, kapanen and ott are primarily C’s, but all have played LW frequently (particularly ott, when he and jason spezza tore up the league). malhotra does not prefer the wing.

    sim has seldom played center. he has played most at LW, but has played on the off wing. i think he was playing RW in that game one debacle against new jersey when he scored his SCF goal (by the way, my wife is so cool, she asked to have the TV on while she delivered my third child so we could watch). i don’t know why all the sites list sim as a center, but keep in mind, they all listed darryl reaugh as a “smallish” goalie, too.

    downey is a RW, but i don’t think his position on the ice is all that important when he checks into the game.

  13. bones says:

    Yea, but every lines chemistry was crap last season. I think if you put those 3 together, even switch off Mo and Turg at center, they could click. It also makes the second line a powerfull 1,2 punch, and (if Morrow gets with the program) the 3rd line would be awesome, not to mention what the fourth line could be capable of in the post season after playing together all season.

  14. DTheEagleT says:

    “every lines chemistry was crap last season” SO then why put up a line that had bad chem last season?

  15. StarsFaninMN says:

    Lehtinen would be on the THIRD line? I would think that he would be on the top line making it Modano-Guerin-Lehtinen, but then again what do I know? =) I think this is gonna be one fun team to watch but the key imo is Turco. Can he handle being the #1?

  16. rrudd says:

    i gotta tell you, everyone is saying they key is turco, and to some extent i agree. but he should be fine. if not, tugger’s a good. and you’d assume that hatch, zubov, and sydor will not ALL have a career bad year at the same time again. plus, this team should score enough goals to cover any goalie defficiencies.

    the two keys, to me, are two new guys: boucher and young.

    boucher was brought in to be a secondary right-hand QB on the powerplay. he needs to be effective so that when zubov skates off, the powerplay can keep banging away.

    he and zubov need to spend two minutes drilling it in, while guerin, lehtinen, young, morrow, muller and dahlen wreak havoc in front.

    also, this team NEEDS turgeon to be a second-line threat. and young was brought here to make it happen. without a GREAT second line, this team will hurt. young had better step that line up.

  17. bones says:

    because Young wasn’t in the picture then. I just think Mo Turg and Young would find a chemistry. Go ahead and swap Mo and Turg, put Mo on LW, if Turg and Young had such “great” chemistry together, what do you think adding Mo to that would do? Besides, if teams can somehow stop Mo-Turg-Young, then they have to have the strength to stop Dahlen-Arnott-Guerin. Then they have to look at possibly the best 3rd line in the league. I think Lehtenin is one of the best players in the league, but if you put him on the third line, he gets even better because his level of competition declines. On top of that he plays his natural right side. And regardless of what people say about him being just as good on LW, that’s BS. He is much better on RW.

  18. bones says:

    A second line is important, but a third line makes or breaks your team. You HAVE to have experience and goal scoring threats on your third line, especially in the West.

  19. bones says:

    Oh, and one more thing, if you put Morrow playing with Modano or Turgeon, you’re not going to get much chemistry. I didn’t blame our talent for having crap lines last year, sounds like you might be, I am blaming coaching decisions for our crap lines.

  20. Nemix says:

    Yeah one fun team bought…

    ooh yeah woo i see the challenge there

    Give me a TORand MON game anyday

  21. Rushing says:

    Hey Bones…….did ya notice Sim playing “C”enter Thursday night? Did ya also notice him scoring 4 goals with the credit of one given to him since the D man of the Avs knocked one in himself?

    7-1 Stars!!!!!! How ’bout them Avs? Yeah yeah yeah I know it’s just preseason. lol….but, it still was great seeing that. lol

  22. rrudd says:

    so they played sim at center with ott and kapanen at wings?

    that’s wacky.

  23. DTheEagleT says:

    So what your saying is… Take Turgeon who didn’t have chem with Modano and was pure craploa on the wing… Put him on Modano’s line and on LW, take away most of his passing ablity cause he is on LW and then put Young on there? While 9 million dollar Guerin who HAS chem with Modano sits on the 2nd line and the first line loses it’s tough hitting forward (aka Guerin, Dahlen or Arnott)? Modano has Chem with Dahlen and Guerin. Breaking that up when last season no one could play with anyone last season is… not smart

  24. bones says:

    maybe you need to read what I wrote again.

  25. HockeyGuru says:

    You’re an Idiot.

  26. Rushing says:

    In todays Dallas Morning News……”For his part, Ott has matured since the Stars drafted him as a 160 pound center. He’s now 185 pounds and will probably play left wing for the rest of his career.”

  27. Rushing says:

    Dang did you hit the nail on the head! He’s just a fan of another one of those teams owned by an Owner with tight pocket book. They aren’t willing to put the money out to bring in players yet just to be cheap and put the money “IN” the pocket books.

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