2012 NHL Trade Deadline: Should Dallas Stars Consider Trading Mike Ribeiro or Steve Ott?

Feb 21, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Dallas Stars forward Mike Ribeiro (63) celebrates his goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the 3rd period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE

Yesterday, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN let loose with an interesting tidbit on his blog, stating that Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro have become the target of interest from several teams in the NHL. While this sort of news is far from surprising this time of year -- I'm sure teams are calling inquiring all sorts of players this week -- he let it be known that GM Joe Nieuwendyk didn't exactly state that the two forwards are strictly on the "no trade list".

None more so in the Stars' dressing room than Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro, both of whom have heard their names in the rumor mill. And indeed, sources confirmed to ESPN.com that the Stars have gotten calls on both and would consider moving them for the right deal.

Now, the language is vague and the implication very broad. Of course Nieuwendyk would consider moving either of them for "the right deal", something you could say about nearly every team in the NHL. With the exception of a handful of players across the league, most players could certainly be had if the right offer came along -- especially for a team like the Stars who are certainly looking to build for the future.

Of course, for the right deal, it would be hard to pass up on making the move but just how important would trading one of the two players be for the future of the team, and how would their departure affect the Stars in the short term? Let us know how you feel in the poll after the jump.

To be clear, the Dallas Stars are NOT actively shopping Mike Ribeiro or Steve Ott. That is not what is going on here. What LeBrun is implying is that a few teams have inquired about their availability and the Stars haven't exactly hung up the phone, completely closed off the possibility of a trade. So what that turns into is "for the right deal, Ribeiro or Ott could be traded."

What's the right deal, however? As we approach the deadline, it's obvious that the market this season could certainly be rich. Steve Downie was essentially traded for a first-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning and while Downie is a decent young player, it's tough to think he's worth a first rounder (technically it was Kyle Quincey that was traded for the 1st - semantics).

Today, Antoine Vermette was traded by the Blue Jackets for a 2012 2nd round pick and a 2013 3rd Round pick. It could certainly be argued that Vermette is worth more than what Columbus got in return, so trying to determine what the value of a player like Ribeiro or Ott would be is tough.

It's undeniable that the potential for a significant return for Ott or Ribeiro is certainly worth it, although such a trade would likely center around prospects and draft picks. For a team like the Stars, who need players to help the NHL roster sooner than later, acquiring picks and prospects is grand but not a solution for their short-term issues. Then again, those extra picks and prospects could be used to make a big splash -- like a trade for Jeff Carter, for example.

The impact of trading Steve Ott would be interesting, as Ott is easily the fan favorite on the team. He's heavily marketed by the Stars, he's the most outspoken and public player on the team and his leadership on the ice is valuable when used correctly. Mike Ribeiro, whose defensive struggles are well known, is still an offensive playmaker capable of having a significant impact on the Stars.

Joe Nieuwendyk has to be smart about this and all indications are that he's looking to the future, not just this season. It could be argued that Ott has a much more significant future with the Stars while Ribeiro's time is likely coming to an end. There's also the fact that Ribeiro's limited NTC and hefty salary could make trading him difficult, while Ott has no such limitations.

How do you feel? We've talked about a lot of trade scenarios and plans lately, but this seems to be credible proof that the Stars are at least open the possibility of trading some very well-liked players. Would this be too far for fans, or would the potential return make the trade worth it? Let us know in the poll.

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