2014 NHL Trade Deadline: Dallas Stars As Sellers

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

How much could the Stars impact the trade market if they become sellers?

Earlier the question as to what the Stars should do at the trade deadline was posed, and then we looked at the "if they were buyers" approach. Now let's take a look at what it would actually look like if the Stars do decide to become sellers as the deadline approaches.

The Stars are in a fortuitous situation if they do become sellers. Obviously it would be preferable for the Stars to be in the playoffs, but if they reach the point where they feel their chances are slim they are fortunate in that they have numerous players who would be valuable pieces to contending clubs.

Two forwards in particular could be nice fits for a number of teams. Both have already heard their names in trade rumors. Vernon Fiddler was reportedly shopped as early as November. The depth center has seen his role shrink significantly under Lindy Ruff. He isn't relied upon to handle tough matchups anymore with the presence of Tyler Seguin and the emergence of Cody Eakin.

Shawn Horcoff is slightly more successful in a similar role, and he has another year remaining on his contract at a hefty price. Fiddler is a pending free agent. The depth the Stars have built in the minors suggests that they shouldn't need to spend a ton of money on the back half of the forward corps for a while. Colton Sceviour, Brett Ritchie, Scott Glennie, Radek Faksa, Jason Dickinson, Curtis McKenzie, and Devin Shore should all be competing for spots soon. This list also leaves off numerous other prospects that pad one of the deepest systems in the sport.

It wouldn't be all that shocking to see Fiddler moved regardless of the direction the Stars take given that there isn't a ready made role for him on the 2015 roster.

Ray Whitney fits into a similar category. By all accounts he is a great guy in the locker room, but the Stars don't really rely on him at all. He plays sheltered minutes and his scoring has dropped off since his tenure in Phoenix. Given that he is closing in on his 42nd birthday this shouldn't be too surprising. He will still have some value to a contender. He faces a similar roster crunch to Fiddler next year given the Stars depth on the wing so his days do appear numbered.

Two other forwards to keep an eye on are Horcoff and Erik Cole.

Horcoff has the veteran presence all teams covet. For the Stars to extract value from Horcoff they will likely need to eat some of his cap hit for the 2015 season. Given that they essentially got him for free picking up a solid asset while eating some cap hit seems like a reasonable trade to make.

The Stars most valuable potentially available asset would be Cole. He's on pace for close to 30 goals and 50 points. Over the past month and a half he has been among the Stars most productive players. He doesn't drive possession though, and the Stars have been giving him fairly soft minutes. He's under contract for next season so he has some value to the team. If the Stars got a good return for him they could move him, but will the return be good enough to entice them to make the move?

On the blueline the most obvious candidate for trade is Sergei Gonchar, but that seems questionable. The Stars brought him in partially to help rookie Valeri Nichushkin. He was poor for most of the season, but lately he is starting to produce with five points in his last four games. Like Fiddler, Cole, and Whitney they aren't really relying on Gonchar. He plays sheltered minutes while Stephane Robidas (when healthy), Brenden Dillon, and Alex Goligoski take the brunt of the difficult minutes.

Like Cole and Horcoff, Gonchar has another year remaining on his contract. The Stars might need to consider absorbing part of his 2015 cap hit to facilitate a trade if they hope to get something meaningful in return.

Shipping off all of their veterans isn't going to make much sense. They still need to show that they are committed to winning to attract free agents and they still can use some veteran presence to help bring prospects into the lineup. The most likely scenario if the Stars ship players out is that a few pieces move out for youth instead of a full on fire sale.


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