As the Olympic break nears, teams are jostling for playoff position. They are also looking at possible trade partners in hopes of improving their playoff chances. However, the question has to be asked, “Should the Stars be one of them?”
Though last night’s win was huge for morale, Dallas needs to ask the hard question: Is it time to think about next year?
If the last 15 games are any indication the answer should be yes. At just 5-8-2 Dallas has struggled mightily and seems to be headed in the wrong direction. Because of this the Stars should consider moving any and all players that do not fit into their long term plans. Below are three players the Stars should think about trading.
1. Ray Whitney- Besides Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Valeri Nichushkin, Cody Eakin, Alex Chiasson, and possibly Alex Goligoski, Whitney seems to have the most value of any Star on the roster. Though he is 41 years old and clearly not the player he once was, Whitney could provide excellent leadership on a Cup contender looking for depth scoring on their bottom 9. He wouldn’t necessarily fetch a top prospect but the Stars could receive a useful player for the future in exchange for Whitney.
2. Erik Cole- Similar to Whitney, Erik Cole is a veteran winger who could boost a team looking to make a playoff run. Though he is three years removed from his 35 goal, 61 point career season of 2012, Cole could provide outstanding depth to a contender. He currently has 1 year remaining on his 4 year, $18 million dollar contract he signed in 2011.
3. Alex Goligoski- Goligoski would most likely fetch the type of player that would most excite the Stars. The reason he is third on our list however is due to the fact that he is still relatively young (28 years old) and is a puck-moving defenseman in a league that highly values them. For all of his warts, Goligoski has consistently produced from the back-end.
While none of these players would fetch the Stars a franchise caliber player, the time is now to start planning for next year and beyond. As Stars fans become more doubtful that Dallas will qualify for the playoffs in the stacked Western Conference, the organization must ask itself “How late is too late?”