If you’re having a bad day, just remember that we are one day closer to the Stars season opener!!!
Here’s your analysis for the next man in line, #11 Dustin Jeffrey:
Dustin Jeffrey was acquired off of waivers by Jim Nill and Co. on November 17, 2013 from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Many expected him to be a hearty edition to the Texas Stars down in Cedar Park, but he proved himself worthy enough to play with the big boys on pro ice throughout his first season in green.
After his abrupt arrival in Dallas, Dustin was expected to be sent down to Austin and never be spoken of again. But that’s not what Jimmy N. had in mind. Dustin Jeffrey suited up in the bright green just 4 days later in the Stars next game against the New York Rangers in place of the injured Ray Whitney. He skated 4th line with Shawn Horcoff and Alex Chiasson, mainly. He was able to accumulate 1 shot on net in 8:54 of ice time in his first Stars appearance.
This is NOT a horrible stat line, if that’s what anyone is thinking (gotta cover everyone’s ideas). Jeffrey fought hard when on the ice and always remained gritty, which is what the Stars needed. He appeared in 24 games for the Stars this season, and pulled 2 goals and an assist while skating mainly 4th line, though he skated with the 3rd line for 1 or 2 games. His true breakthrough performance of this season was against the Washington Capitals when he scored his pair and went 2/3 with shots on net and a +3 in just 8:07 of ice time. He made the most of his time and seems hungry for next season.
Dustin did not skate for the Dallas Stars in any of the 6 games against the Ducks but has performed amazingly for the Texas Stars so far in the Calder Cup Playoffs, skating in 7 games and tallying 5 goals and an assist.
Jeffrey signed a 1-year contract with Pittsburgh and then brought his contract to Dallas in November. He makes $625,000 a year regardless of who he plays for, the Stars or the Stars (isn’t that fun? Guess I’m the only one laughing). His cap hit is $625,000 as well. Jeffrey’s contract expires this offseason and he will be an RFA.
Quick note (all knowing people when it comes to contracts can skip this): For all happily ignorant people (like myself sometimes), this basically means when it comes to contract negotiations and terms, this means “restricted free agent” which means that he cannot talk contracts with other teams until he gives his current team until July 1st to extend him a qualifying offer or new contract. An opposing team CAN, however, send him an offer sheet which means that if he signs it, the Stars would be notified and would have 5 days to either match the opposing team’s offer and hold the player and not be able to trade him for a year, OR deny it and let him leave for said opposing team.
Either way, expect the Stars organization to resign this thriving and upcoming young star.
In my opinion:
In my eyes, Jeffrey is a key and vital part to the upcoming Dallas Stars. He is a dominant force on the ice and makes the most of his precious few minutes. When the older guys head off or get traded away, this is the guy they can call on. Granted, the Stars are more than set when it comes to depth in the dot, (i.e. Seguin, Eakin, Fiddler, Horcoff, Peverley, Sceviour, Mueller, Jeffrey) but Jeffrey has a physical edge that some of these listed don’t carry.
And at the ripe old age of 26 (I hope you can catch that pun), he looks like he’s gonna be gliding down the ice for a long time and the Stars could seriously use him, whether it’s Austin or Dallas. He can fill voids if Dallas experiences any (but they’re all invincible, right?) and shoot the puck really well. The Stars organization also has plenty of open cap space with the rise of the salary cap due next season, so they could even sweeten the deal for him a bit for him with a raise if he draws interest from other potential landing spots.
The bottom line on Dustin Jeffrey:
Dustin Jeffrey was a small time name from The Steel City with a small time reputation but a big time skills set that hadn’t been discovered yet.
The Stars can keep him with a new qualifying offer or contract and see how well he can prove himself throughout the upcoming season. With the age and skill combo, Jim Nill will probably decide it best to cling to him for the next couple of years and watch him develop into an elite.
If the Stars were to even think about trading, they could only be looking to get average for average. Jeffrey is not at the status where they send him to Toronto and get Phaneuf in return. He could be added to the mix with a high quality player for someone else in return, such as Dion Phaneuf to improve the blue line or perhaps a middle class center with Jeffrey for Paul Stastny. The options are there for free agents as well as trading but Jeffrey is dealt only if he is attached to someone else.
The only other reasonable idea is Jeffrey signing an offer sheet and the Stars not feeling ready to match it and sending him off. Nill is smarter than this but if he really feels like it would be best to split ties with Jeffrey, two potential landing spots could be the New York Islanders or New Jersey Devils who lack center depth, but that is only if Nill walks.
Like I said, this team is ready to go all the way next year as it stands now, but a few additions could help reassure the fans a little. Other bigger names would probably be a better fit if we were to be looking for a trade than trying to send Jeffrey and being turned down.
We shall see come July 1st but for now, keep your feet on the ground and your heads in the clouds.
Post any comments y’all have below and I’ll talk to ya tomorrow. GO STARS