Welcome to the weekend, Stars fans!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first half of your Saturday, and I hope you’re excited as I am considering the Dallas Stars’ regular season schedule is set to be released tomorrow! WOOHOO!
Well, with just 3 left, here’s your next report card on #55, Sergei Gonchar:
Sergei Gonchar was traded to the Dallas Stars in the previous offseason for Dallas’ 6th round pick after three years with the Ottawa Senators. Through one season, he couldn’t find a way to prove himself whatsoever.
Sergei Gonchar began his 19th NHL season with his 5th NHL team. Throughout his continuous career, he spent his time among the likes of the Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, and eventually the Dallas Stars. When Dallas traded practically nothing for Gonchar, many Stars fans were thinking that Gonchar would turn out to be the perfect veteran leader that a young and rambunctious Stars blue line needed. But it turned out that the 6th round pick we traded to Ottawa might’ve ended up being more useful…
Gonchar participated in 76 of 82 Stars regular season games. He ended up putting away a measly 2 goals and tallying 20 assists. These numbers are truly displeasing. His total goal count ties his overall career low, and the only other time he finished a season with 2 goals, he played 45 less games and was a rookie. His assist numbers were towards the top of the list, though, but still weren’t outstanding. Spending most of his time paired up with the inevitable “6th man” that the Stars never fixed, his partner was basically a mystery until the starting lineup was called out. His partners varied between Connauton, Nemeth, Rome, Oleksiak, and so on.
Sergei Gonchar found himself being non-productive for the Stars once again in his 14th appearance in the postseason. He ended his first playoff appearance with 0 goals and 0 assists, the first time he has ever gone blank in a playoff showing. Gonchar fell in the regular season to the third line and stayed there until the end of the postseason. He averaged 17:37 at the end of the regular season and 13:24 in the playoffs. As you can CRYSTAL CLEARLY see, Gonchar is not the kind of aging defenseman you want on your roster.
Soon after the trade went down, the Stars signed Sergei Gonchar to a 2 year deal worth $10,000,000. This means that Gonchar earned $5,000,000 for this past season and will earn $5,000,000 in the season to come. Gonchar’s cap hit sits at $5,000,000 as well for both years. The 40 year old is looking to finish out his contract with the Stars before making any other decisions.
In my opinion:
If I haven’t laid it on pretty thick already, Gonchar and the Stars just aren’t matching like we wanted them to when they traded for him last season. Getting him off the squad will be a chore and it may be one the Stars aren’t looking to deal with, which may result in Gonchar sticking with the team one more year before free agency hits. But Gonchar just isn’t of the caliber and quality that he used to be, and ended up not helping the Stars blue line in the slightest, but instead draining their bank account, being the 5th highest paid player on the team as well as the 2nd oldest. Gonchar needs to go, but the Stars can’t seem to find a foolproof way to dish him in the upcoming offseason.
The bottom line on Sergei Gonchar:
Sergei Gonchar came to Big D with full support invested in him by the Stars fans. Instead of helping the defense, he ended up playing a non-definitive role.
The Stars could end up keeping him. With only one year left on his deal and then most likely retirement, they might find it difficult to trade him to any team, especially a team in rebuild. Gonchar could be useful next year and help out the blue line, as a way to sort of “go out with a bang”. Jagr has proved that age is merely a number pinned on you, but I don’t think this will apply to Gonchar’s case. But I have no idea.
They could get rid of him. The Stars have used one of their two compliance buyouts already on Aaron Rome, and have one remaining. Would Gonchar be the right man for this final buyout? Some think yes, some no. Gonchar being traded is beyond a long shot, and the Stars will most likely hold on to him for his potential last NHL season, capping 20 years.
The Stars are ready for another Cup, and Gonchar may be able to change his ways and help out in the upcoming year. But we’ll have to see.
Comments below and Go Stars.