Blackhawks

NHL 2016-17 Central Division preview: Can Stars solve goaltending woes?

NHL 2016-17 Central Division preview: Can Stars solve goaltending woes?

CSN Chicago will unveil a preview each day for every Central Division team leading up to the NHL's season-opener. Next up: Dallas Stars.

The Stars saw a 15-point improvement from 2014-15 to 2015-16 thanks to a scorching hot 28-8-3 start in the first three months last season, which helped them capture the Central Division crown for the first time since 1997-98.

Credit that to a high-powered offense that scored a league-high 265 goals, which was 17 goals better than the second-place team. It will be hard for the Stars to match that total, but that doesn't mean they'll rank among the tops in goals scored again.

Their weaknesses began to show down the stretch, however, with a leaky defense and a goaltending tandem that allowed the most goals of any playoff team in the regular season with 230.

[SHOP: Gear up for the 2016-17 season, Blackhawks fans!]

That needs to change if the Stars have any shot at seriously contending for a Stanley Cup. The problem is, there is $10.5 million committed to Kari Lehtonen ($5.9 million) and Antti Niemi ($4.5 million) through 2017-18, and it's difficult to see any team taking one of those contracts off their hands unless at least one of them has a strong first half.

It's especially tough to swallow knowing goaltenders like Ben Bishop and Marc-Andre Fleury could be on the market at the trade deadline with the threat of Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh losing them for nothing during next year's expansion draft.

Losing Jason Demers, Alex Goligoski and Kris Russell hurts a Stars blue line that is figuring out how to patch up playing in their own zone, but the addition of Dan Hamhuis should help take some of the pressure off of young defensemen Stephen Johns and Esa Lindell, both of whom are being counted on to step up in larger roles and are capable of it.

Other previews: Colorado Avalanche

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The 2010 Hawks were better than we thought

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AP

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The 2010 Hawks were better than we thought

Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis, Scott King, Nick Gismondi and Slavko Bekovic discuss how they're spending time without hockey. They also share their thoughts on the re-airing of the 2010 Blackhawks playoff run, and could the Hawks have won more in the last decade?

(0:55) - How to fill time with no hockey

(11:20) - Rewatching the 2010 Blackhawks

(18:32) - Could the Blackhawks have won more last decade?

(26:20) - Time for the Blackhawks to re-invent themselves

(28:20) - Advice to get through the quarantine

Listen here or below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Former Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo has a question for Netflix's ‘Tiger King’ star

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USA Today

Former Blackhawk Daniel Carcillo has a question for Netflix's ‘Tiger King’ star

Retired Blackhawks’ winger Daniel Carcillo has apparently spent his quarantine the same way the rest of us have, binging Netflix's iconic docuseries "Tiger King." One of the principal subjects of the series is Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist and nemesis of Joe Exotic, also known as Tiger King.

While Carole’s life mission to rescue large cats is admirable, the documentary doesn't paint her as innocently as she’d like. Episode Three, titled "The Secret," discusses the disappearance of Carole’s second husband, Don, in the 90s, leaving many viewers to believe that Carole murdered her husband and fed his body (which has never been found) to her tigers. 

Carole actively rebukes these accusations, but it hasn’t stopped people from speculating. Including Daniel Carcillo, who Tweeted at Carole’s rescue organization to ask where Don’s body is. 

I mean... we all want to know. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.