In past seasons Dallas' main need has always been a goal scoring winger. Last season Ryan Smyth would have been a perfect fit. In July Ryan Smyth would have been a perfect fit also, but that is another blog for another time.
Right now Dallas sits 5th in goals for. Dallas also sits 6th in goals against. You can rule those Marty Turco for Martin St. Louis rumors out. This team is playing too well to trade its' franchise goalie. They still will have some issues when the playoffs get here. Right now they are virtually a one line team. Modano isn't the free flying 80 point scorer he used to be. The Ribeiro/Morrow/<Insert Random Finn> line has been downright dominant at times this season, but one line rarely carries you completely to the promised land. Remember in 1999 2nd line center Joe Nieuwendyk won the Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP.
As I see it now Morrow/Ribeiro/Miettinen is fixed as a line. Barnes will be on the 4th line, while Krys Barch, Brad Winchester, and Joel Lundqvist take up the final 2 forward spots. Some combination of Jere Lehtinen, Mike Modano, Jeff Halpern, Jussi Jokinen, Nik Hagman, and Steve Ott will dot the 4-9 forward spots. At this point in the season you have to look at the teams ahead of you. Do the Stars have the 2nd and 3rd line depth to compete with the juggernaut that is Detroit?
Dallas could form a shutdown 3rd line that can compete with anyone for the playoffs. Lehtinen/Halpern/Ott would be pretty lethal. Hagman Modano Jokinen just isn't a Stanley Cup caliber 2nd line. I've been saying this for 2 years: Jussi Jokinen isn't that good. His reputation has gotten bigger than his game due to the shootout. Move him and a young defender to get that offensive piece you need.
The Stars have one other significant need before the deadline that needs to be filled if they hope to compete with Detroit. Boucher has been hurt all year. Zubov is older and keeps getting dinged up. Norstrom is a human pylon making way too much money. They are consistently using 3 rookies on defense. I love the group of Grossman, Fistric, and Niskanen, but they need more of a veteran presence in the d corps. I think Mike Commodore would've been a perfect fit, but there are still plenty of defenders available. If they could resign Brian Campbell he would be ideal. They could give him Norstrom's money along with a little extra for next season and use the rookie defenders with a little less anxiety going into next year.
The main guys I'm hoping for: Olli Jokinen, Brian Campbell, Rob Blake, Bill Guerin, Jaroslav Modry, Marian Hossa, Dan Boyle, and Martin St. Louis.
I wouldn't rule out a Mike Keane/Darren McCarty type of addition either. However, is it possible that Steve Ott is growing into that role?