As the Dallas Stars offseason draws near, they have already expressed interest in filling certain positions with new faces come July 1st.
In my last article, I showed y’all who the Stars could potentially use in their trade scheme this coming July, and I voiced my opinion on where those names could potentially land.
Well, my opinion is back and raging, so get ready:
The Stars’ Wants:
The Dallas Stars are looking at an eventful offseason ahead, with a few additions here and there that will help get this squad to the Cup. Jim Nill has already told of his strategy and which positions he will be targeting.
This is the only true position Jim Nill has expressed interest in to the media so far. He has explicitly stated that he wants a 2nd line caliber center that can ease the load Tyler Seguin carried last season. He does not feel that Eakin is completely ready to accept the challenge and is not comfortable with repeating last year’s situation and rotating centers out at the second line every few games. But with this search for a golden goose comes more sorting and narrowing down to one team and player to end up hunting.
There are a few way the Stars could go:
Trade for one:
Looking back on my last article, I included 3 of a handful of players that could be useful in the trading block. If the Stars are looking to pull another blockbuster trade (let’s try and not take away from America’s day this time, huh Jim?), here are a few names you could see wearing a green sweater in the dot come next season.
I’ve mentioned Spezza a few times before and that’s because he should be a prime target for the Stars should they be looking to trade for a 2nd line C. He has spent his entire hockey career playing for the Ottawa Senators and is currently inked through the end of next season. He is a very skillful player with great hands and a decent 53.9% faceoff win percentage. He finished this past season with another impressive stat line (23G, 43A) but the struggling Senators were not able to find the postseason path this past season and finished with their heads hanging in 11th place in the East.
This is probably not where a talented 30 year old center in his prime with no Stanley Cup championships. The only reason there would be delay to trade him away would be that he has been with Ottawa for the 12 years of his career and is the current captain (trading away your captain is usually a pretty big deal). But with the emerging face of Kyle Turris as a new dot threat, Spezza could potentially be buying a house in Big D, or anywhere else than Ottawa for that matter. If the Stars were looking to trade and the Senators were willing, the most logical trade the Stars could offer would be Aaron Rome and a prospect like Connauton or a draft pick which would help out the Sens defense which is looking for an answer besides having to rely on Erik Karlsson.
The good news: The Sens are looking at rebuilding and the Stars could make it a win/win.
The bad news: They might be hesitant or stingy in giving up the long running face of the franchise.
I’ll pause here for a second so you can think about how stupid I am for saying this…
Tick tock tick tock..
Okay well now I’ll tell you why Jumbo Joe would be a good fit in Dallas. Joe Thornton is a 34 year old center playing for the San Jose Sharks for about the last decade and has thrived in the Golden State. His most recent season in the Shark Tank ended with him putting up flawless numbers (11G, 65A) and signing a 3 year extension. But as Eric He reported in his most recent article, the SJS GM is not necessarily happy with “certain” players (Thornton and Marleau, if you didn’t catch his drift), and doesn’t want players on his team to be there just for the scenery of California (Dallas is a pretty place to live too, right?). He is a nifty and physical center who still has good years left on his wheels. His talents would fit the Stars second line very nicely and his bruising ability would be well greeted.
But once again… this is the captain we are talking about. Are they ready to give him up yet? It sure seems like it considering the GM is secretively talking about him and making him available and he is getting to a certain age. If he’s ready for the trade and so are the two teams, the Stars could offer up Shawn Horcoff to help out the Sharks flexibility between positions. This could potentially happen, but don’t expect it to be in the front of Jim Nill’s mind right as the clock strikes midnight on July 1st.
The good news: Joe Thornton is being made available to the public and the Stars could really use his skill set.
The bad news: This is probably not Nill’s number one goal for the Stars’ offseason.
There is one other option…
Buy one in the FA market:
Another familiar name. Paul Stastny is set to enter the UFA market and search for a new home unless Colorado draws him back in. And that new home could be with the Stars.
Stastny is a talented and on the rise center and at the age of 28, the Stars could really use him. He’s spent his last 8 seasons in between the Avs and minor league affiliates and has really expanded his game over the last 2 seasons, especially in the playoffs. Stastny is a hot target and the Stars could obviously utilize his center tactics to hold Seguin up. With contracts potentially dropping between the Stars and Whitney, Fiddler, and Thomas, the Stars will have a ton of cap space to work with and could truly make it worthwhile for Stastny. Though this could work, Colorado will most likely offer him a big new contract that he will take on, but crazier things have happened so keep your heads up Stars fans!
The Stars will be busy no doubt come July 1st, and these are only a few of the names that could fit Jim Nill’s “want” list. The Stars HAVE plenty of people to work with, it’s just making the right decision about the return.
This is the second part of my three part mini series. The last article will be what I think the Stars NEED to be focusing on during the offseason.
Comments are welcome. Talk to y’all later. Go Stars