This article is from my Dallas Stars blog, "Victory Green". You can find more Dallas Stars blog entries as well as an upcoming weekly Stars podcast which will premier in the coming weeks.
Apparently the Dallas Stars aren't merely a hockey franchise, but ninja assassins when it comes to trades under Jim Nill. “Stealth-like” seems to be a popular description for hockey insiders to apply to the Dallas Stars inquisitions in the available players on the market. Hopefully Jim Nill plans on playing the players and not garroting them. Though I’m sure taking a piano wire to Sergei Gonchar and his contract might be a tempting proposition to the Stars GM.
I’m going to be taking a look at the current prominent rumors from strong hockey insiders and giving my unsolicited analysis of them from a Dallas Stars standpoint. Let’s get started with Jason Spezza, leading up to the Draft this week.
The biggest name with the most pundits linking him to the Dallas Stars is Spezza. Ottawa decided to shoot the old guard in the face again when they stated Spezza wanted to move to the media. As it turns out there are plenty of teams who need a second line center with skating and scoring ability. Go figure, right?
Everyone seems to expect the Stars to do whatever it takes to pick up a second line center, but I personally think Jim Nill would be just as happy to sit on his hands and let things ride and wait to see where they are near the trade deadline again this season. For all intents and purposes the Stars are 1, perhaps 2 years ahead of schedule with their playoff appearance, after all.
What is it going to take to get Spezza? A top prospect, a pick & a decent roster player?
Assuming the prospect is a winger, then you can say you are dealing from a position of your greatest depth. You can perhaps give a defenseman, but that’s iffy and if you give away a center then you may as well just fire yourself if you are Jim Nill. This is certainly a doable point of that trio of items.
As for the pick, as long as it is a pick from the weak 2014 draft then I don’t think many teams have an issue parting with their picks. If they are asking for 2015 picks then, maybe if it is a 3rd round pick or higher. It’s doable.
But who are you going to give up from the active roster that is going to work for Ottawa and not be one of the young players who you are counting on developing further with another NHL year under their belt? I think if you are willing to move a winger then maybe. Chiasson comes to mind right away as someone that I could see the Stars willing to part with who has an upside that someone like Ottawa might go for despite an up/down NHL career in his first couple of seasons.
So, I’m saying there’s a chance. The Stars can put together a package without giving up too much. There are only two remaining questions then. Firstly, can the Stars offer a set of assets that are higher quality than the other teams out there looking for a second line center? Second, what happens with the other top-6-worthy centers?
isn't coming to Dallas. Looks like the Hawks or Penguins have the lead with the Kessler sweepstakes, with the Ducks coming up the rear.
has officially decided to test the market, but I don’t see Stastny wanting out of an up and coming team like the Avalanche where he fits in on an amazing 1a/1b line set up to come to a team in a very similar place. You would expect that he either wants a lot of money on a team closer to a Stanley Cup or wants a lot of money to play on a team where he’s the undisputed #1 guy. Then again, I’m not Paul Stastny or I’d be looking at a 6+ million dollar pay check regardless of where I go.
So, the good news is wherever those two go, those are two teams who are no longer looking for a player like Spezza. But is Spezza the answer? There are certainly as many pros as there are cons for both the player and the teams. What do you think about the veteran center coming to big D to fill the center position behind Seguin?