Jim Nill likes where we’re at. I bet nobody’s surprised. Aside from 2019, the Dallas Stars typically have not gone “all in” on the trade deadline. Let’s see if the Stars break the cycle this year at the deadline with Alexander Radulov.
With Miro Heiskanen out indefinitely, John Klingberg’s impact on the defense has increased so he is unlikely to be dealt. Braden Holtby is currently working through an injury and with Anton Khudobin recovering from surgery, he is also unlikely to be dealt. The closer the trade deadline has gotten, the quieter any noise around the team is.
The latest from Elliotte Friedman’s 32 Thoughts is that the New York Rangers have interest in Alexander Radulov. Let’s break down his current season.
Radulov is having a rough season compared to years prior. He underwent core muscle surgery in April 2021 but contributed 12 points in the 11 games he did play in last season. This season, he has 19 points in 53 games with only 3 of those being goals. His average time on ice has dropped three minutes from 17:47 to 14:47.
What used to be the steady force of his line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin has become the team’s worst option. In their last outing in Toronto, they were on ice for a total of 3:15 minutes and two goals against in the first period. That line should not be an option for the Stars anymore.
But Radulov has found chemistry with Jacob Peterson. He set up Peterson several times from behind the net with quick plays that resulted in goals. Their line with Joel Kiviranta has played roughly 90 minutes together this season and, in that stretch, the expected goals for per 60 minutes is second to only the Stars top line. But Rick Bowness’ reluctance to play Peterson or give him large minutes affects their potential along with Radulov’s usage and production.
Radulov is in the last year of his 6.25 million dollar contract. It is unlikely that the Stars bring him back next year with younger players taking great steps forward. According to CapFriendly, he has a 15 team no trade list. It is possible the Rangers are on that list but if they are not, the Stars should try and get some assets instead of letting him walk into free agency.
The Rangers currently have a projected cap space of roughly 6.2 million dollars. With possible salary retention, they could easily take his contract and have a solid middle-six forward option.
A powerhouse for the team off the ice but especially on it, he will be missed. Nobody celebrates a goal like Alexander Radulov. He was an alternate captain for a period of time and even in his minimal games last season he changed the spirit of the team and charged them up.
He would bring leadership and fire to whatever team he is on. With his current usage and diminished production, a change in scenery and proper usage in a lineup would be beneficial.