Both teams had their seasons end Saturday in the first round, but the prospects for the futures of the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators are as different as their payrolls.
At one end, the Predators entered the season with a league-low $23.17 million payroll and the Stars had the third-highest at $67.59 million. Yet the gap in regular-season and playoff results is far closer, serving as a lesson in how to manage an NHL franchise in the current, uncertain marketplace.
The Stars have overspent for players like Bill Guerin.
Dallas finished in fifth place in the Western Conference, just six points ahead of eighth-place Nashville (97 points vs. 91). The Predators lasted one more game in the postseason, however, getting eliminated in six games by Detroit and earning that all-important extra home game of playoff revenue. The Stars were eliminated in five games by Colorado.
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