Continuing the Buy Or Sell series, today I’m going to take my 2nd look at a certain player. For my look at Brenden Morrow earlier this week, click here: Story.
An interesting player to look at as the NHL trade deadline closes-in might be Nicklas Grossman. The big Swedish defenseman might not be a “big name” on the roster, but the Dallas Stars could be taking some calls involving the blueliner. Grossman is another player that has come up through the Stars’ ranks over the years. Back in 2004 he was the team’s 2nd round draft pick, but after this season he might be skating for a new team.
The 27-year old is slated to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time this season and right now it looks like the Stars won’t have him resigned by the deadline in a little over three weeks. At 6’3″, Grossman is a pretty big defenseman that most teams would probably want at least somewhere on their roster. But what is his real value and should the Stars want to keep him?
In 327 NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Grossman has mostly been a 2nd or 3rd line defensive backguard. His stats mirror that. With 3 goals and 38 assists in five seasons, the Swede doesn’t bring much offensively. But with a franchise that has had some very weak defenses over the last few years, a career +7 in the +/- column isn’t bad. And his current cap hit of $1.625 million is pretty small.
So why would the Stars deal him? Well with Nicklas set to becomea free agent, he might not be here next season no matter what the team does down the stretch. With Alex Goligoski getting a big contract extension, Trevor Daley getting one last season, and the team likely to go after some big names on the free agent market, signing Grossman for anything much more than $2 million probably wouldn’t be smart. Add that on top of the youth the Stars have on defense in guys like Philip Larsen, Jamie Oleksiak, Brenden Dillion, and Jordie Benn likely to fight for roster spots over the next year or two. Plus the growth of Mark Fistric and his physical play has made Grossman expendable if he is only going to be playing on the third line next year.
So while right now the Stars really should keep Grossman on the roster for the rest of the season, they might not need him next season. And if they can’t find a way to fit him into their long-term plans and his, then the Stars should consider moving him. While we all want to dream that this team could reach the playoffs and have a strong second half, right now they still look like what they are: a team that is close to reaching the postseason but is still just not there. If a playoff team, especially Eastern, comes calling about Grossman at the deadline if the Stars are still on the outside looking in, then Dallas should move him if they dangle some youth.