Turco and Stars need to part ways

Jean-Jacques Taylor

The worst part of professional sports occurs when it’s time for an organization to end its relationship with a player who’s become one of the faces of the franchise.

It’s time for Marty Turco to go.

He knows it, as do the Stars. We all do.

This is not about whether it’s time for Turco to retire. It’s not. He’s good enough to help a playoff team make a lengthy playoff run.

It’s just time for him to leave Dallas.

With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear the Stars should have traded or released Turco once they decided not to extend his contract, especially with a new general manager and coach sending the franchise in a completely different direction.

The timing would’ve been perfect. And, maybe, GM Joe Nieuwendyk and coach Marc Crawford would’ve done it if Jonas Gustavsson, the best goalie not playing in the NHL at the time, had opted to sign a one-year deal worth $900,000 with the Stars instead of Toronto last summer.

Turco did a good job Sunday night against Phoenix and it still wasn’t enough as the Coyotes and former Stars coach Dave Tippett beat Dallas, 3-2, in a shootout.

The defensive-minded Stars we’ve known since they arrived in town no longer exist. Nieuwendyk and Crawford want to play a more aggressive, offensive style, which is fine.

They want their defensemen to attack, but that can create a lot of odd-man rushes that leave the goalie under siege. Consider the Stars have spent less than $9 million on their six defensemen – no other Western Conference team has spent less – and we shouldn’t be surprised the Stars rank near the bottom of the league in goals allowed.

At times, it’s hard to figure out whether it’s Turco or the defense that has struggled more this season.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s simply the reality of pro sports.

Hey, Troy Aikman was released. And one of the first things Bill Parcells did when he took over the Cowboys was cut Emmitt Smith.


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