As you probably know, the Dallas Stars traded Nicklas Grossman yesterday to the Philadelphia Flyers for a couple draft picks, but during the proceeding press conference, General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk quickly dismissed any notion that the move signified the Stars as “buyers” or “sellers”:
“Well, I don’t really like the term and I know everyone wants to talk about that,” Nieuwendyk said. “I just think today is an isolated case and it shows that we’re going to be active. We’re going to look at things that make our hockey club better going forward and if things present themselves that do that, we’ll take a strong look at it. But I think it just shows today that this is not an indication that we’re going to be sellers. This is an indication that we’re going to be active and listen to everybody.”
It’s about time.
I have always believed that these buyer/seller labels are far too general for a team in the Stars’ position. When you label a team as a “seller”, then they’re actively shopping multiple players for the highest return to build for the future due to a lost season. When a team is a “buyer”, they’re actively looking to acquire a player(s) that can make their team a contender or a Stanley Cup favorite, that last piece to add before a major playoff run. Do the Stars fit into either one of those categories? No.
Nieuwendyk is making smart and cautious moves, moving the right players for the right return to make this team better. The Stars are not in full on sell mode (such as the Blue Jackets or the Canadiens) and the team is, sad to say, not a Stanley Cup contender, so they are not looking to add that “Rick Nash” type of player to make a big run (such as the Rangers or Kings, among others). To try and force the Stars organization as a whole into one of these two categories is wrong and even a bit sensationalist.
The Stars are not in a desperate situation, they’re right on the cusp of a playoff spot. These stories you hear around the media about how the Stars need to be a buyer or a seller for this reason or that reason are ridiculous. You read it straight from the General Manager’s mouth, these labels are absurd and he doesn’t like them. The Stars will listen, and Joe will make the right moves if it helps the team. Nothing more, nothing less.
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