Blood in the Water: Evgenii Dadonov to LTIR & Matej Blumel called up

Dadonov has been disabled, and Blumel is called up. The ripple effect among the forwards will be minimal, with as many NHL-ready bodies at the Star's disposal. However, the movement could loom large over the impending deadline moves the Stars could make to improve the defense. How will they respond to the holes left by Lundvkist and Hakanpaa's absences?

Colorado Avalanche v Dallas Stars
Colorado Avalanche v Dallas Stars / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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The Dallas Stars Twitter (formally referred to as X) account has been ablaze with speculation over the past few days since it became public that Evgenii Dadonov would be missing a significant amount of time. As a fixture to most salary relief propositions, Dadonov’s salary will now be stowed on the LTIR and free up $2.25m heading into the trade deadline.

In response to this move, the Stars have called up Matej Blumel for his second stint in the big league as a part of the Stars’ organization. While the transaction may seem simple, these codependent transactions may be the first dominoes falling to force Dallas’ hand at the trade deadline. 

The problem for the Stars is clearly not forward depth, as they’re currently outscoring the rest of the league at 3.8 goals per game. The bigger problem is the injuries to two of their moveable defensive pieces in Jani Hakanpaa and Nils Lundkvist. With each of them missing time at a particularly precarious time of the year, Derrick Pouliot is reportedly in line to get the call up and plug in next to Esa Lindell. Sending a shockwave through the lineup, the Miro-Harley pairing will likely be broken up to spread the talent and coaches’ trust across 2 of the 3 pairings. 

With the depth spread evenly and an extra million & change in salary available, Jim Nill is in an optimal spot to deal for another right-shot defenseman. Depending on who the secondary trade chip is, between Dellandrea, Blumel, or whomever, the Stars could send a pickup to Calgary for Chris Tanev or to Philadelphia for Sean Walker. Now would be the time since Pouliot or Hanley can easily be plucked from their spots next to Suter or Harley. From there, another realignment will be in order. 

Chris Tanev
Calgary Flames v Minnesota Wild / David Berding/GettyImages

The attractive part of this new shiny toy will be the upgraded capabilities of what the Stars are getting from the 2RD currently. Assuming Hakanpaa is dealt, Lundkvist could slot in next to Lindell at even strength, and Tanev (or whoever!) would be on the first penalty-killing unit with him. Additionally, a better partner for elite defenseman Thomas Harley would validate having Suter in the top 4 with Miro on L1 despite being dragged around like a bag of dirty laundry. It's possible that a 3rd pairing of Lindell-Lundkvist could carry this team through the conference finals. 

In summation, the moves of Blumel, Dadonov, Pouliot, and whoever gets dealt for a righthanded defenseman can only be paid off by winning the Stanley Cup. This team was the second-best in the playoffs last year, and the eventual champions chopped up their defense core like a fresh California roll at Sushi Axiom. You may have noticed that these are virtually the same defensemen who were victimized by said chopping. The forward grouping has elevated their play to championship levels because of outside additions, and now it’s time for the defense to follow suit. 

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