Once again it's that time of year here on Defending Big D where we take a look at each player that suited up for 20 or more games this season (and are still with the team) - and take a look back at their season. What was good about it, what wasn't so good, and the lasting impression they left us as we go into summer.
#6 / Defenseman / Dallas Stars
Oct 09, 1983
|2011 - Trevor Daley||79||4||21||25||3||42||1||0||2||134|
Key Stat: 1,710:10 - As in the minutes played by Daley this year, which led all Dallas Stars in total ice time. Daley played 79 games this year to go along with 82, 77 , 75, 82, 74 and 81 in his career since becoming a full time NHL player. That's 550 of 574 possible regular season games (95.8%). The man is durable and has quietly become a major pillar of the Stars' defense over the last several years, playing in every situation.
The Good: Like a basketball team that badly needs someone to take the ball inside instead of just passing it around the 3-point line, the Stars sometimes need Trevor Daley, who is unafraid to skate the puck through the neutral zone and into the opposition's territory, facilitating offense in the process. He continues to learn how to pick his spots in this regard and as a result took a career high 134 shots on goal this season. He tallied just 25 points, however, which has been very typical of his last five seasons (24, 25, 22, 27, 25). Can he take the next step and push it to 35? Or at 28 years of age have we seen the furthest outreaches of his development? Either way, his skating continues to be a uniquely positive addition to the Stars game. Who his partner will be next season is an item of considerable intrigue.
The Bad: Trevor Daley's metrics were poor this season. Be it his CORSI and FENWICK numbers or his scoring chances, as recorded by us... They just weren't where we'd expect him to be. He's come a very long way over the course of the last 3-4 season, working his way up to what I would consider to be an absolute rock on this defensive unit, and yet his data makes me think twice about that opinion. This season he saw extended time with Nicklas Grossmann, Mark Fistric and Adam Pardy. All of the above had sub-par years and the situations into which they were thrown (zone starts, paired with the Ribeiro line constantly, etc) hampered the kind of season Daley could have had in more ideal conditions. Also throw in the fact that he too was part of the power play that wouldn't produce.
Bottom Line: Joe Nieuwendyk signed Trevor Daley to an extension last season that makes him the longest tenured projected Dallas Stars of the whole bunch, which is saying something. People talk about this team's core as Benn, Eriksson, Lehotnen and Goligoski. What about Daley? I would argue that he's earned a spot in that group as well, but the current mix of defensemen, regardless of their individual skill or potential, might be holding the group back as a whole. If the Stars are serious about making changes for the better and becoming a force in the West, is Daley someone we could see being moved to accommodate said adjustments? Just something to think about.
The Vote: Rate Daley on a scale of A to F (A being the best of course) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season.