The NHL trade deadline is going to be arriving soon, very soon. There’s a pseudo-deadline this Friday with all of the rosters going through the Olympic freeze. GMs can still talk to each other and plan deals but no players can be moved during the Olympic break.
The official deadline is March 5, just one week after the end of the Olympics, so it’s past time to take a look at the situation for the Dallas Stars. I’ll have posts later this week on the players being shopped around (if the Stars are buyers) and which players the Stars should be getting rid of (if they’re sellers).
First, a look at the roster, what the situation is like and what the plan should be. I’ll be leaving all minor league guys out of this because any of them could be dealt if a good enough deal came along.
The Stars currently have around $61 million tied up in cap space with their current roster. That leaves roughly $2.5 million in cap space to play around with. Among those contracts, there are a few which have a zero percent chance of being moved.
On that untouchables list: Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Val Nichushkin, Brenden Dillon and Kari Lehtonen.
Ryan Garbutt signed a new contract and won’t be going anywhere. Cody Eakin has been incredibly valuable playing against the top lines of opponents and Antoine Roussel is an integral part of his line. It’ll be an incredible surprise if any of them get moved.
There are also a few players who should be moved only if the right deal comes along. That would be guys like Alex Chiasson, Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Kevin Connauton and Rich Peverley.
Everyone else is pretty much fair game though.
Dallas is once again in that position with much of the league straddling the fence on buyer and seller. In past seasons, the team hasn’t really made any moves toward either side.
I’m hoping that this season though, the team goes fully toward the selling route and tries to trade away their veteran chips for some prospects and/or picks. I wouldn’t expect much of a return for many of these guys though.
Shawn Horcoff, Vernon Fiddler and Sergei Gonchar are definitely on the block but they’ll only bring back a minimal return.
The two most interesting pieces the Stars have are Ray Whitney and Erik Cole. Cole has been a pretty solid offensive piece this year, and there are a fair number of teams out there looking for offensive help (LA Kings anyone?) Whitney has had a really bad season, mostly because he hasn’t been used all that often, and he’s been demoted to a fourth line role.
He’s on a one-year contract and wouldn’t require much of an investment from any team acquiring him. Dallas has a plethora of wings out there in the minors and a fair number of them are a year or two from NHL action.
Whatever happens in the next few weeks, I’m hoping the Stars start sending away some of these veterans for anything, even low-round picks. The plan for this team is still to fully compete in two or three years, not this season. I’m alright with missing the playoffs if it means getting better for the future.