It was announced this afternoon that the Dallas Stars had traded a conditional sixth round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft to the Ottawa Senators to negotiate with pending free agent, 39 year old Sergei Gonchar. This news comes a day after a Puck Daddy article brought the news that Gonchar wanted to stay in the NHL for another two seasons, preferably with the Senators, but was considering an offer to go to the KHL.
Mike Heika has reported that the Stars are hoping to sign him to a two year deal, neatly fitting in with the time frame that Gonchar himself had put on his own career in the NHL. There is still a lot of talk that Gonchar will go to the KHL however so its far from certain that he will be in a Stars jersey next season.
Stars have acquired rights to Ottawa defenseman Sergei Gonchar, 39, for a conditional 6th round pick. Hope to sign him to 2-year deal.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) June 7, 2013
What this move shows however is the Nill is looking to upgrade the Stars blueline, as his first trade it's an interesting one.
The sixth round draft pick sent to the Ottawa Senators is a conditional one -- if Gonchar does not sign with the Dallas Stars, then the team keeps the draft pick. This is essentially a high-reward, negligible-risk trade as the price to be paid for Gonchar is fairly low. This is still a player capable of being very effective in top-pairing minutes in the NHL.
Now, there are rumors swirling that Gonchar is ready to head to the KHL this summer:
Some feel that such a rumor was also a bargaining chip for Gonchar, who apparently wants more than just the one-year deal the Senators are willing to give him. What we do know is that Gonchar waived his NTC to come to Dallas, and that Jim Nill is willing to give him the two-year deal he wants in order to shore up the defense.
What this means in the long-term is certainly interesting. We'll have much more on this trade and what it means for the defensive corps shortly.
Stars Press Release
The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has acquired the rights to defenseman Sergei Gonchar from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
The 6-foot-2, 206-pound blueliner from Chelyabinsk, Russia spent the last three seasons with the Ottawa Senators, appearing in 186 games and posting 91 points (15G-76A) with 101 penalty minutes. Amongst NHL defensemen in 2012-13, Gonchar was tied for fifth in assists (24) and shared 12th in points (27). He led Ottawa defensemen in scoring and ranked second on the team with 27 points (3G-24A) and first on the club in total assists.