NHL Free Agency: Dallas Stars Potential Trade Partner - Boston Bruins

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last two seasons, the Dallas Stars, under two different general managers, have made two significant deals with Peter Chiarelli. Might a third be in the offing this summer?

At the trade deadline in 2013, Joe Nieuwendyk (in one of his last moves as the Stars GM) dealt the ageless Jaromir Jagr to Beantown in exchange for Lane MacDermid, Cody Payne, and a conditional second round pick in the 2013 draft that turned into a first round pick when the Bruins advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. That pick, by the way, was used by the Stars to draft center Jason Dickinson.

But that paled in comparison to the deal the Bruins and new Stars general manager Jim Nill pulled off on the 4th of July last summer. That day, the Stars sent Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow and Matt Fraser to Boston in exchange for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and prospect Ryan Button.

The Jagr trade had a serviceable impact on the Bruins come playoff time when the then 41-year old piled up 10 assists in 22 playoff games, but failed to score any goals.

From the Stars' side, Lane MacDermid had a handful of nice games with Dallas before being shipped off to Calgary for a 6th round draft pick. He spent much of his time in the Flames' organization toiling away with the Abbotsford Heat before deciding he'd had enough of professional hockey in late February and retired after being suspended for failing to report to the Heat.

The Seguin trade, on the other hand, has been mutually beneficial for both teams. In Seguin, the Stars found their number one center to play alongside fellow rising potential superstar, Jamie Benn.

Loui Eriksson slotted into the Bruins' lineup quite nicely this season while Reilly Smith provided some unexpectedly pleasant moments for the Bruins on their secondary scoring line. And Matt Fraser even chipped in with the only goal in a second round game four win in overtime.

So considering the recent success for both teams, is it possible they might hook up for another blockbuster this offseason?

Well, it's certainly possible. At least if you listen to the Boston media.

Over the past season, it seems like just about everybody on the Bruins roster has been mentioned as trade bait at one time or another. In the interest of your attention span, I'll only focus on three names.

First on that list is David Krejci. He has one year left on his deal at $5.25 million (all figures courtesy of CapGeek) before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Krejci cashed in on a terrific playoff run in 2011 that culminated with the Bruins ending their 39 year Cup drought. During that run, Krejci scored 12 goals and 11 assists in 25 games and was rewarded with a three-year extension worth $15.75 million in December of 2011.

His goal scoring prowess from that spring hasn't been matched since. But he's usually good for over 60+ points per season. And as the Bruins player usage chart from Extra Skater shows, he's firmly entrenched in Claude Julien's top six.

Which is also why I'd be completely shocked if the B's moved him this summer; he also has a NTC.

Another player with a NTC that could still be on the block is Johnny Boychuk. He's also entering the final year of his current deal before he's set to become an unrestricted free agent. He has a contract that could easily be moved at $3.36 million cap hit.

I've always liked Boychuk's game. And like Krejci, Boychuk's established himself rather firmly on the roster, having gobbled up 35.3% of the available TOI at ES (good for third among Boston's defensemen). And he can chip in with the occasional offense as well.

I'll plead ignorance on any Bruins' prospects in Providence, but I don't think they have anybody readily available to replace Boychuk.

And from the Stars' perspective, I'm not sure Boychuk would represent the kind of significant upgrade Jim Nill would  be looking for on the blue line.

But speaking of significant upgrades...

Brad Marchand.

I thought it was absolutely nuts that the Bruins would even think about trading Tyler Seguin about this time last year. And I think it would be absolutely nuts for them to trade Marchand.

But here we are as Seguin enters his second season with the Stars. And one of his old friends from the Bruins is getting criticized for many of the same reasons Seguin got criticized for.

And yes, I'm including the party pics as a reason (you can Google them if you're so inclined).

Anyway, it's become apparent to me that when a player doesn't score in the playoffs (like Marchand and his 0 goals in 12 games), that player instantly becomes a scapegoat and must be shipped out immediately according to some in the Boston sports media.

Marchand is every bit the irritant that Antoine Roussel and Steve Ott are, except he can put the puck in the net with more frequency. Since he broke into the league as a regular in 2011, Marchand has scored at least 20 goals in every season, except the lockout shortened season when he netted 18 goals in 45 games.

And from an advanced stats perspective, he had a 5on5 Corsi For percentage of 59.8%, second on the Bruins to Patrice Bergeron. Suffice to say, Chiarelli would be really, really, really nuts to trade him.

Especially when you consider he still has three years left on his current deal at $4.5 million per.

Depending on who Nill would have to give up, Marchand would go a long ways towards filling the secondary scoring void that separates the Stars from the elites in the West.

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