Who is next to go on the blue line?
With the recent trade of Brenden Morrow to the Pittsburgh Penguins for supposed blue-chip defense prospect Joe Morrow, the Dallas Stars seem to be at an interesting cross road with the defensive core between the big and minor club.
Currently residing with the Dallas Stars there are currently 7 defensemen: Gloigoski, Robidas, Daley, Rome, Larsen, Dillion, and Jo. Benn. Knocking at the door with only one or two more years before making an NHL impact we have another 6 prospects: J. Morrow, Oleksiak, Nemeth, Bystrom, Jokipakka, and Vance. This is not a slouchy group to have beating down the door for some quality time.
But, with this deep pool becomes an issue: the Big Stars need to open up space for these guys to make that impact. The issue becomes, which vets do you keep around to help ease these guys into playing time? Dallas Fans have all see what happens when too much gets put on young guys manning the blue line all too often, with countless defense prospects showing immense promise and subsequently petering out (read: Matt Niskanen).
Alex Goligoski is staying put, unless a vast overpayment is offered. His contract is through 2016-2017 at $4.6 million cap hit and a limited NTC.
Trevor Daley is highly thought of in the organization, and most likely benefits from the same thought process as Goligoski. His contract is through 2017-2018, at $3.3 million cap hit, as well as a limited NTC.
Those No Trade Clauses or NTC’s typically mean they can give a list of teams (number of teams depends on contract language) that they would be willing to accept a trade to. They limit the possible return, and if a team knows they’re on the list—they instantly gain leverage in the negotiations—not very conducive to garnering fair trade value.
That leaves the odd-vet out as Stephane Robidas. He only has one year left on his contract after this season, a very manageable $3.3 million dollar cap hit. The only two glaring issues is his age (36 years young) and his full NTC. However, Robidas has always been an intense team guy, quietly patrolling the blue line with a physicality that is seldom seen from someone his size, and the sacrificial personality that inspires his teammates. He, like Brenden Morrow, would most likely desire a chance to move to a Cup Contender—and willing to waive that NTC to do so.
What kind of return could he get for the Stars? Hard to decipher, given, in my opinion, an over-payment for Brenden Morrow this season. You do not see defensemen moved at the deadline all too often, the last notable name coming to mind being Nick Schultz moving from Minnesota to Edmonton for Tom Gilbert (also a defenseman), so the market is a lacks much evidence in the type of return. A 3rd round pick and possible conditional pick for advancing in the playoffs seems acceptable and fair—if done at the deadline next season. If something is negotiated before, quite possibly a forward prospect, with a mid-ceiling could be had; a center would be ideal.