The NHL trade deadline is a little over a week away and while the current slide has put some doubt into many people's minds on whether or not the Dallas Stars will be in fact 'buying' or 'selling' we here at DBD would like to assume that the Stars are definitely in 'buy' mode - or as much of a 'buy' mode a team that really doesn't have an owner and does have an internal salary cap can be anyway.
Over the last few weeks the Stars have done well to at least try to add depth to the forward position by brining in Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Williams, but it's on the blue line where it can be argued the Stars need the most help right now. With that in mind lets take a look at five names that may or not be in play come the end of February for possible trading. All five players are from teams who I think we can safely assume are out of playoff contention - or will be come February 28th - and better yet should not come at too steep a price should Dallas be interested (we're thinking a conditional pick or two if not an actual one-for-one player swap of some sort).
Of course feel free to have your say in the comments on these players or any other possible trade targets the Stars should have in terms of improving the defensive unit. Tis the season after all for hockey fans of all contending teams to break out the wish lists, so here we go...
Carlo has always had a nice offensive upside and would give the Stars blue-line a much needed shot in the arm and isn't too bad in his own end defense wise, although he is prone to mental lapses. He's also prone to injury and should the Stars in fact make the playoffs, his lack of ability to play a strong physical game would end up hurting a fair amount. Still, he can and has quarterbacked power play units which is something the Stars don't have in any of their defensemen right now.
(After the jump, four more names that the Stars would be wise to consider)
Strong on his own end with good size and not afraid to step into oncoming opposing forwards. Quite smart positionally and more often than not makes good decisions with or without the puck. Problem with Smid is two-fold in that he has virtually no offensive touch at all and he has been known to be quite a streaky player with the bad habit of taking some shifts (and even games) off. Dallas pretty much already has a Smid-like player in the form of Marc Fistric but if the Stars want to get some stronger depth on defense, Smid wouldn't be a bad option at all.
Commodore if you recall is on the outside looking in at Columbus as he's fallen out of favor with team management there. Kind of surprising when you consider how well liked the man his been in previous stops in Carolina, Calgary and New Jersey. His salary is kinda high and his skills are certainly on the decline, but when he is on his game he's still a very tough defender to get around and his playoff experience could be quite valuable. The Stars certainly wouldn't be getting him for any kind of offensive help, nor for any real puck movement of any kind to be honest.
I understand that at the top of the page we stated that we were looking for veteran defensemen who the Stars could bring in to add some depth to the team for the playoff stretch, but if the Blues aren't willing to deal Colaiacovo then perhaps they'd be willing to deal someone further down the organizational depth chart in Oystrick. Oystrick has spent most of the season in the AHL and put up very good numbers (11 goals, 22 assists in 43 games played) can move the puck well and has good speed. He's not very physical though and can be prone to making mistakes in his own end. Still, working in his favor if the Stars wanted to give him a shot is that his first full NHL season was spent as a teammate of Kari Lehtonen in Atlanta during the 2008-09 campaign so there would be some familiarity there.
The current captain of the Florida Panthers is a power play specialist that while prone to making mistakes in his own end, they are usually of the over-aggressive variety as he's not afraid at all to put a body on an opposing player. His leadership and playoff experience would be a huge boon to the Stars and of the names we're mentioning here, Dallas has been mentioned as a possible destination should the Panthers be willing to deal him and being that he's a pending UFA this summer, he may come the cheapest of the five. The biggest hurdle may be the fact he's currently out with a fractured jaw and while he's resumed skating again, he could still be two to three weeks away from full NHL contact again which may cause teams - like Dallas - to be a little shy on pulling the trigger on a deal.