Despite what Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill has done to improve the Stars offense, many fans are still puzzled at the lack of activity on the Dallas blue line. Recently here at BlackoutDallas.com we have discussed potential players that Dallas could possibly acquire such as P.K. Subban (click here for that one) or Michael Del Zotto (more here). Today we will continue that discussion by looking at another defenseman that Dallas might be able to bring aboard, Keith Yandle of the
Pho um, Arizona Coyotes.
Yandle is one of those “franchise defensemen” that Dallas has been searching for since Sergei Zubov left for the KHL. He has been in the top 10 of defensemen scoring in all but one of the last four seasons. He’s also been a Norris Trophy finalist in three of the last four seasons, and finished sixth amongst NHL defensemen in scoring with 53 points in 2013. Those 53 points also led the Coyotes in scoring. Yandle is signed for two more seasons at a cap hit of $5.5 and $5.75 million respectively.
So if he is so good, why would he be available? For starters, there is the ugly -23 rating from last season, worst on the team. Additionally, the Coyotes have eight defensemen on the roster, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson is well on his way to assuming the role of franchise defensemen for the Coyotes. It has been no secret around the league that the Coyotes struggle to score goals so the possibility of adding a sniper to the lineup might be able to entice the Arizona brass into moving a player that some think is due for a change of scenery.
So is it possible that Dallas could be a trade partner and if so what would that trade look like? The Coyotes aren’t exactly rebuilding, but they aren’t exactly in a situation where they are fighting a closing window on competing for a chance to win the Cup. With the buyout on Mike Ribeiro and Radim Vrbata heading to Vancouver, the Coyotes are in need of top six scoring.
I can envision a trade scenario centered around Dallas parting ways with a scorer and either prospects or draft picks for Yandle. Would they be open to something like Alex Goligoski, Erik Cole and some draft picks for Yandle and Lauri Korpikoski? What about a type of player that Dave Tippet seems to love, a defensively responsible, hard to play against guy like Ryan Garbutt? Would Nill be willing to move a high end prospect like Devin Shore or Jason Dickinson? Should Nill even consider moving what appears to be a sure thing in those two prospects?
All good questions, I hope. Nill has stated that he does like his defense corps, and the man knows his hockey. I’m sure the last thing he wants is to overload the blue line and stunt the growth of the players trying to force their way into the lineup. For many fans of Dallas the thought of getting a high end guy like Yandle is extremely appealing, but to get you have to give. In this case there seems, hypothetically, to be a possible match for trade partners. In the very least, it gives us something to think about as we all wait for training camp to begin.
What do you think?
As always, I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading and go Stars!