Free agent frenzy begins today at 11 am central time. In my opinion, the Dallas Stars have two big holes to fill. The biggest one is a right-handed defenseman with the departure of John Klingberg. The Stars will have to solve that via trade (Jeff Petry or Brent Burns). There simply is not enough supply out on the free agent market for right-handed defensemen.
But the other hole the Stars have is a top six winger to play next to Tyler Seguin on the second line. What the Stars really need is some goal scoring forwards that they can count on that have scored consistently in the past.
The cap may allow for some wiggle room to sign one (moving Anton Khudobin would help). So, who are some realistic potential free agents forwards the Stars could target? Trust me. I’d love to see Johnny Gaudreau or Nazem Kadri in Victory Green, but it’s not realistic. Let’s take a look at some real targets.
Dallas Stars Realistic FA Forward Search: 3. Mason Marchment
I’m very surprised I haven’t heard too much in media reports about Mason Marchment. I LOVE this player! He is a VERY intriguing option to me.
Marchment is a 27 year old 6’4″ winger who scored 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points in just 54 games for the Florida Panthers this past season mostly playing on their 3rd line. If he had played all 82 games this past season, you could easily pencil him in for about 25 goals.
He did play with a stacked offense in Florida and has only had one real season of success, but if he’s given the ice time, I believe he could thrive in Dallas. He is going to get paid more than his $800,000 cap hit from the past two seasons, but could the Stars get him for a couple of years at $2 million, maybe $2.5 million? I believe they could and he could be a realistic option for the Stars given their cap situation.
Dallas Stars Realistic FA Forward Search: 2. David Perron
I know, I know! People are already yelling at me through their computer that this guy is 34 years of age, but here me out on this.
David Perron, former St. Louis Blue, scored 27 goals, 30 assists for 57 points in 67 games for the Blues last season. His cap hit last season was $4 million, so the Stars would have to jump through some hoops to get a deal done, but it is possible. He mostly played in the middle six for the Blues, but what is really riveting to me is the consistency of his point totals the past couple of years.
I’ve already told you about last season, but what about the three seasons before 2021-2022? He had 46 points in 2018-2019, 60 points in 2019-2020, and 58 points in 2020-2021. It would be a bit of a gamble to bet on a 34 year old to continue being this consistent, but it’s a risk I would take because of how consistent Perron has been over the past four seasons.
Dallas Stars Realistic FA Forward Search: 1. Frank Vatrano
Frank Vatrano is a 5’11” 28 year old forward who recently was a rental by the New York Rangers from the Florida Panthers for their playoff run to the Eastern Conference Final where they bowed out to the Tampa Bay Lightning. At points in the Rangers’ playoff run, Vatrano was playing top line minutes with Zibanejad and Kreider which is interesting to me.
However, just like Perron, Vatrano’s consistency is key. He’s scored 15 to 25 goals the past four seasons mostly with the Panthers. I think he would be an interesting fit for a Stars’ team that needs goals. His cap hit will go up from his current $2.53 million, but I believe the Stars could get him for $3 million or maybe a hair over at $3.25 million.
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