Preseason is in full swing which makes it the perfect time to speculate about who makes the roster this season. In doing so, let’s examine which players from last year’s Stars roster could be included in a possible trade this season.
In order to consider someone for a trade, there needs to be at minimum an adequate replacement for them. Ideally, you want to improve. With this in mind, we will focus on two players: Radek Faksa and Anton Khudobin.
It’s no secret that Pete DeBoer wants to unlock some more offense on this team. So far his actions have matched his words. He put Denis Gurianov on a line with Roope Hintz through training camp and the beginning of the preseason. Even the simple acknowledgment of Gurianov as a shooter had fans looking at DeBoer with stars in their eyes.
With that, perhaps the stalwart checking line has seen its end after being a constant in Dallas for the past few seasons. The checking line has taken many forms, but at the center of it has been Radek Faksa. He plays a heavier and more defensive game which doesn’t contribute to many points.
If the Stars are moving in an offensive direction, then even a defensively sound line should not be deprived of offense. Faksa’s cap hit is 3.25 million for the next three seasons and he has five teams on his no-trade list. Another defensive player is Luke Glendening, but with his lower cap hit of 1.5 million that expires after this season, it makes sense to try and trade the higher cap hit.
So, who could fill in for Faksa? It’s time for Ty Dellandrea to shine. Drafted in 2018, Dellandrea had a strong previous season in the AHL. In preseason action so far, he has looked more ready to be a full-time NHL player than he looked in his brief stint during the 2020-2021 season. He would bring more versatility than Faksa at a much lower entry-level cap hit.
Examining the salary cap further, Anton Khudobin has a cap hit of 3.33 million that expires after this season. He is coming off of injury and hip surgery at the age of 36. If he recovers well, that makes him an even more ideal trade candidate given the goaltending tandem of Jake Oettinger and Scott Wedgewood looks set. Wedgewood has a cap hit of only one million dollars for the next two seasons and has played well for the Stars so far.
All this discussion about the salary cap is for a reason. Jason Robertson has still not signed a deal with the Stars. Kevin Weekes commented that he can’t see a new deal below an 8.4 million cap hit. Roope Hintz will also be due for a major raise at the end of this season. At this moment, Dallas only has 6.34 million dollars in cap space. If a deal is to be struck for that much money, the Stars must move some players. This makes trading Faksa and Khudobin even more enticing.