The Dallas Stars have too many players on the blue line and need to make some moves before the season begins. There are three players in particular that are involved in trade talks. What does each one bring to the table and which one has the best chance at sticking around?
Training camp 2017 will not only serve as a springboard for the Dallas Stars this year, but also as a chopping block.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the Stars have too much talent at a certain position and have to do something about it.
The 2017 offseason brought a lot of good to Dallas. They added some of the top talent in the free agency and trade markets and restocked their lineup. With all of the new additions, they are shooting for a quick turnaround from their horrific 2016-17 campaign.
The Stars turned in their second worst season in franchise history after posting a final record of 34-37-11 with 79 points. They dropped 30 points and five places in the division standings in one year, and panic ensued as a result.
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Dallas GM Jim Nill responded quickly and efficiently, though. Within the first month of the offseason, he had signed Ken Hitchcock to be the next head coach and added elite goaltender Ben Bishop to be the new starter.
But the fun didn’t stop there. As the offseason went on, Nill found a way to secure offensive firepower and depth. For the top six on offense, Nill added Martin Hanzal and Alexander Radulov in free agency. He also brought in bottom six forwards like Tyler Pitlick and Brian Flynn.
About a week before free agency began, Nill addressed one of the key problems within the franchise: defense. On June 26, the Dallas Stars announced a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights that brought veteran defenseman March Methot to Big D.
The Stars struggled heavily as one of the worst defensive teams in 2016-17. Their struggles were primarily due to a flawed system and a young core with little experience.
By adding Methot, the Stars have a consistent and veteran presence on the blue line that plays a stay-at-home style of game and provides a shutdown presence in the defensive zone. But his addition also gives Dallas a small problem.
Including Methot, the Stars now have nine NHL-ready defenders in their lineup. They are also over the salary cap limit and need to alleviate space before the season begins. So by the way it looks, at least one defender (or even two) will need to be dealt by some fashion here in the next month or so.
Which defender will that be? It’s anybody’s guess at this point. It’s assumed that the opening night defensive pairings for Dallas will include Marc Methot, John Klingberg, Esa Lindell, Stephen Johns, Dan Hamhuis, and Julius Honka. The three names in circulation to play seventh man are Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, and Greg Pateryn. So which ones get the boot?
Here is a quick look at the pros and cons of each of the three defenders. Maybe this will help you take a clear side as we quickly approach training camp where it all goes down.