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Stargazing: Continued Speculation on Defensive Help

There seems to be some difference of opinion out there on the internets as to whether or not the Stars had interest in Tomas Kaberle. Joe Nieuwendyk let it be known on Sunday afternoon that he would not be making a trade for Kaberle, but does that necessarily mean he wasn't interested in Kaberle before. Erroneous, disreputable places on the web variously suggest that the Stars were the team that offered a player and a pick to Toronto, but the pick would come back contingent on Kaberle signing an extension or not.

Is that true? There's no way to know. It makes sense that if the Stars were interested they would seek a guarantee of extension. The argument against trading for Kaberle (or, really, any defenseman who is for some reason "available") is 'why give up players and/or prospects for a one year rental?', particularly when you're in a semi-rebuilding mode?

This isn't just a Kaberle story. It's part of the continuing (hopefully just beginning) saga of how GM Joe intends to build a competent blue line in Dallas. Defensemen are at a premium right now in the league. They're seen as a risk in the draft, because their development takes longer, traditionally. So when one finally matures and grows into a role on a team, they lock him up. They are a precious commodity.

Even if the Stars are sold tomorrow and the new owner says (unlikely) "Here's some cash, let's get up to the cap right away!!", the Stars still wouldn't have any no-brainer, easy deals to make for d-men. It's a position that is largely being furnished through farm systems throughout the league. Not free agency. That's not to say it can't be done, but it's going to be dearly expensive if it happens that way.