Happy Friday all! 3 day weekend ahead with a lot of playoff hockey!! Sadly, no Stars…… but that’s why you have ME! Lucky y’all….
Here’s the next report card and analysis for #12 Alex Chiasson:
Alex Chiasson was called up in April of 2013 and quickly proved that he was true NHL caliber and maybe even first line material. This season became ALMOST a mirror image of last year.
Chiasson started for the Stars this season after putting up a stellar performance in the 2013 lockout shortened season. After a 6 goal 1 assist performance in first 6 games, he was shaken up against the Chicago Blackhawks and benched for the rest of the season. This season, he started with a stellar performance and then fell into a horrible slump before reclaiming his dignified position. Chiasson scored the first goal for the new era Stars against the Florida Panthers on opening night. He then went on to score in the next two games against the Caps and Jets. At the beginning of the season, he was paired with Eakin and Whitney on the second line until he hit his slump. After this hiccup, he was mainly skating on the fourth line with Horcoff and a mixture of Jeffrey, Whitney, and Mueller for the rest of the season. Towards the end of the year he found his groove again and finished the season with the average number of 13 goals and impressive number of 22 assists.
Chiasson seemed to finally find his feet for good in his first 6 NHL playoff appearances. He was paired mainly with the big boys on the first line, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
And he proved that he deserved to play up there (WHA?).
Though Chiasson only tallied 1 goal and 1 assist through the entire duration, he averaged 15:40 on the ice per game and never seemed tired or slumped. He took 14 shots in the postseason and was a key part in saving the Stars power play from going straight to the dumps. He skated with the first line on the power play and found his calling in doing this. He was a constant physical threat and even looked for a few fights here and there against the duckies (they can enjoy golfing now too! Thanks LA). Chiasson seemed to finally figure out how to stay consistent on the ice towards the end of the season and into the postseason.
Chiasson’s current contract is still an entry leve which means it is a 2 way and after it expires he will be an RFA just like Dustin Jeffrey. The 23 year old has 1 year left on his contract and is currently being paid $900,000 with a cap hit of $866,667. His salary was obviously increased after the 2012-13 season by $100,000 and he will stick with it for another year. Don’t look for anything special to be done to his contract this offseason.
In my opinion:
In my opinion, the Stars should figure out a way to do something with Chiasson. He was a valuable asset in 2013 but this last season was a little different. He was still good enough to where other teams might be looking for a guy with his size and skill. If they could perhaps trade for a stellar defenseman from an offense-depraved team or a big and fast RW for Chiasson and perhaps another addition from Cedar Park or even an aging starter from Big D, the Stars could see fantastic results. But I am not Nill (just in case anyone has forgotten from my last articles).
The bottom line on Alex Chiasson:
Alex Chiasson was a no name from Cedar Park until his first 9 days in the NHL where he received uncanny media attention and a spot on the “NHL 3 Stars of the Week”. Through the first 9 days of the 2013-14 regular season he was still one of, if not the most exciting rookie to talk about and watch. After this period, the rest of his season was at the minimum and nothing more, nothing less until he showed his true self again in his rookie playoff appearance.
The Stars could do 1 of 3 things:
They could look to leave Chiasson with his 1 year deal still hanging in the balance and see what he does. As we always see in the NHL, players can either surprise or let us down in a matter of weeks. His formative years are still in effect and he could either retaliate against their setbacks or fall into their trap. It’s all up to how he performs next year and how consistent he can stay on his grind. If he is always thinking that he can do better, he will be valuable to the Stars attack next year. Maybe he could try and act like he’s only been in the NHL for 5 days (seemed to work last time)? If this is the status, don’t look for the Stars to do anything major about his contract (i.e. bonus or extension). Since he will be an RFA next offseason, if he doesn’t play up to code this season, they could wait for a team to give an offer sheet and let him head to the next destination of his NHL journey.
They could look to buy out his contract and send him into free agency. Considering his contract is so minute and cheap, the Stars could look to pay him what they would owe him for next season and drop him into the free agent pool so they could open cap space and offer another free agent a bigger contract than they normally could, and avoid trading which could cost them down the road if they don’t make the right decisions on who to send and who to gain in return.
With a buyout comes risk, though.
If the Stars send Chiasson into free agency and offer someone else a portion of the cap space they have and that person says no, the Stars are down a man…. This would probably not be the BEST idea for a guy like Chiasson because of his skill set compared to other players. If the Stars were looking to do this, they could pick up someone like Lee Stempniak or Radim Vrbata with the open cap space. If they know for sure that they are going straight for the Cup next year, they could pick up the aging Jarome Iginla who is still an offensive threat (if he doesn’t end up retiring (note that the Stars could still pick these guys up and still keep Chiasson, this is just speculation).
They could also trade him. They could attempt an offense for offense trade and go for a fresh name like Jason Spezza to strengthen the second line center position or Ryan Kesler to fill the same void, though both of these names would need an extra chip or two from the Stars roster to sweeten the deal and get it to pass.
Or they could look to trade and find help to build up the ailing defense we experienced last year, perhaps a young for young to pick up Alex Edler from Vancouver who sits at 28 and deserves a new chance with a different club. They could also offer up Chiasson and a Gonchar or Rome for Tyler Myers, the BIG and young guy in Buffalo who can’t seem to show his talents because of his team holding him back and is begging for a fresh start with a rising team. Either way Chiasson could be a major key in trading talks and someone who could be the main part or a sweetener in a bigger name trade.
This team is gnawing at the bit to go further next year, even as far as one team can go. They have the firepower and small little tidbits of help would be of great value.
Chiasson has done his duty for the most part with the Stars over the last 2 years. He could still be viewed as useful down the road, but he will need to gain his former stature and spot in the lineup. If not, he could also be a potential road block that the Stars could user to their advantage in the obtainment of something bigger. It all depends on how the front office and the guys behind the bench feel about his status at the current moment. We shall see as the offseason wears drags on.
I love feedback no matter how much you agree or disagree so please feel free to respond. Talk to y’all soon! GO STARS