Now that the All-Star break is over, things will only get more interesting in the hockey world. Starting this week we will reach the proverbial second half of the season, and my favorite part of the year. The NHL trade deadline is officially four weeks from today and then from there the teams have the final six weeks or so to make the playoffs. While roughly ten weeks sounds like a long time, we all know in sports that it is not. Especially since some teams will already decide at the deadline what their fate will be come mid April.
So what should the Dallas Stars do? Our beloved boys are currently still in the playoff hunt, sitting just three points behind the Wild (who have played one more game), and they don’t have a big hill to climb just to reach a playoff spot. But should the Stars go “all-in” and make a move just to make the playoffs this year? Or should they continue rebuilding and wait for next season? Do they keep with GM Joe Nieuwendyk‘s plan to build the right way and from within, or do they roll the dice to add something extra for this season?
It’s a complex question. Some simply want them to try and pull off a big deal just to finally reach the playoffs again. While I can’t wait for the Dallas Stars to return to the post-season, taking a risk just to get in and then get booted by a first or second seed probably wouldn’t be worth it in the big picture. But becoming “sellers” at the deadline could anger some of the fanbase with another season ending without any sort of success, and many faithful don’t want to move a player like Brenden Morrow, Stephane Robidas, or Mike Ribeiro.
So how should Joe, management, and new owner Tom Gaglardi plan to attack this season’s NHL trade deadline (also known as Toronto’s yearly imaginary Christmas shopping)? Well which way the Stars end up going will be decided probably over the next three to four weeks. I’m sure GM Joe has received plenty of calls and offers on some of his players since Christmas. Now rumors have swirled around Captain, Our Captain Morrow. So should he move him?
Currently I think the Stars should strongly consider it. With Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro finally back from injuries and the schedule heating, the clock is ticking. If they can find some offense to support Kari Lehtonen and make a run, then I am all for trying to make a return to playoff hockey in Texas if they don’t have to give up a big piece of their future. But if they sit in 9th or 10th a few days before the deadline, I think the Stars should seriously consider moving one of their veterans who probably won’t be here more in two to three years. The onus is all on the players at this point. But even if you would hate to miss the playoffs again, making a big move just for one season goes against everything Nieuwendyk has built the last couple of seasons.
Stayed tuned this week to BlackoutDallas. While this piece was a little bit more rambling and questioning, I will be looking at five of the Dallas Stars players over the next two weeks to evaluate their trade potential in depth. The first of the series should be up tomorrow afternoon. Hint: I mentioned him in this post.