Let's face it, Jagr is notoriously tough to negotiate with because he's hard to read (both on and off the ice) and has made quick decisions leaving people stumped. He has been a wild card with moves like signing in the KHL, signing with Philadelphia before last season when Pittsburgh was almost positive they were front runners and even signing with our very own Stars was a bit of a surprise to everyone. It was great having him here and I'm sure he was a great example for the young kids but guys like Recchi (among others) have probably heard stories from former team execs/players and didn't like the vibes they were getting on resigning. I wish we could've gotten more but what I like about this trade is the possibility of having 2 first rounders and a couple of bigger grinders for the 4th line. Stars need to get bigger at almost every position and the games against LA this season were evidence.
The Roy trade was tough because every team knows he is going to want to test the UFA market so his value was significantly less because of it. But the best part is we now have a a fairly deep pool of prospects at Defense and with 4 picks in the first two rounds and some trade bait with guys like Daley, Larsen or Robidas we can trade up in the draft to a top 7 spot (if we don't already finish with one of those picks) and draft a Center like a MacKinnon, Barkov, or Monahan. It'd be great to get Seth Jones but I think the Stars realize how little depth we have at Center now and those 3 all have good size and skill. Let's be honest even if this team squeeked into the playoffs they would've been destroyed and to add insult to injury Roy would've left.
GM Joe overall
I think GM Joe has done a good job overall in his career. I think people forget he's only really had about 1 full season as a GM. When he was hired his hands were tied with the ownership issue so was really only able to start approaching trades and signings at about the mid point last season. Then, this last offseason was obviously the lockout followed by a half season. My only complaint about his performance would be his coach hiring decisions. Crawford was a bad experiment and I was disappointed when we opted to promote Gulutzan rather than hire Paul MacLean. Nieuwendyk's logic of wanting a "younger coach that can grow with the team" was lost on me. It's almost like hiring a 15 year old to babysit your 13 year old and trying to figure out why they took the car joy riding and raided the liquor cabinet. You already know a young team is going to be prone to mistakes so why hire a young coach with no NHL experience that will be prone to mistakes as well. I'd say for the next coach they hire by committee, meaning a lot of conversation between Gainey, Recchi, Nieuwendyk, Gaglardi, etc. You can't discount the fact either that Nieuwendyk has brought in a guy like Gary Roberts during the season that several superstar players lineup to get training from in the offseason.
The good news, as Heika has alluded to, is the Stars realizing that they need to rebuild and these recent trades prove it. The lack of quality free agents the last few offseasons as well as this upcoming one, mixed with the outlandish contracts have made signing and/or trading for quality players expensive; if not nearly impossible. The best way to put a good team on the ice, though painful, is through the draft. Teams can sometimes be in denial about this (i.e. Calgary Flames) which only puts teams further in the hole. So I think the fans that are upset at the Stars current state need to think about our prospect pool/draft picks and read THIS article from the Flames SB Nation site and remember that it could be a lot worse.