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2014 NHL Trade Deadline: Dallas Stars As Buyers

How much should the Stars go in as buyers, if they become buyers?

Rick Stewart

Earlier the question as to what the Stars should do at the trade deadline was posed. Now let's take a look at what it would actually look like if the Stars do decide to become buyers as the deadline approaches.

The Stars are in a fortuitous situation if they do become buyers. The prospect depth they have built up over the past several years puts them in a position where they almost have to make several trades in the not too distant future to try to get value out of all of the prospects they have. Maybe that time isn't now, but it's definitely coming soon.

The Stars have a definite need for second line talent. Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Valeri Nichushkin have shown to be a formidable top line. They should continue to improve. Antoine Roussel, Cody Eakin, and Ryan Garbutt have been a formidable depth line that plays with speed. Alex Chiasson could fit in there somewhere. Going forward they also have Rich Peverley and Erik Cole under contract. They have the makings of a good group of forwards, but they clearly need a second line offensive threat.

Defensively the Stars are still a work in progress. Stephane Robidas is a free agent and still recovering from a significant injury. Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley are signed on long term. Brenden Dillon is a young piece that should be around for a while. Outside of those three the core of the defense isn't established, and there are those who would tell you that the aforementioned trio isn't a great start. I would argue that it's a solid group, but it definitely needs help in the form of a top pairing defenseman even if Robidas is re-signed.

The Stars have plenty of ammo to complete trades. Off of the pro roster both Chiasson and Kevin Connauton would be valuable to teams seeking players ready to contribute. Names in Cedar Park that could lead to NHL roster improvements include Jamie Oleksiak, Jack Campbell, Curtis McKenzie, and Brett Ritchie. Several prospects not in professional hockey could make an impact as well. They are primed and ready to make further drastic overhauls to the team that fill those needs.

The obvious places to look for players to improve the Stars roster right now are on the rosters of teams lower in the standings than the Stars with a particular focus on teams really in the dumps. The Sabres, Panthers, Islanders, Flames, Oilers, Predators, Senators, Jets, and Capitals of the world are where you would imagine the Stars' focus to be directed. Currently they are pretty close in the standings with several of these teams, but if they have designs on the playoffs they will likely need to look to those of this group that have given up hope to pull a trade.

The problem with most of these clubs is that the reason they are bad is because they have undesirable players. The Oilers are loaded with young talent, but what motivation would they have for dealing anyone of value outside of Ales Hemsky, the soon to be unrestricted free agent, mid-season?

The Sabres are in a transition period with notable unrestricted free agents potentially available, but that doesn't match up with the Stars needs. The name Christian Ehrhoff has been in the rumor mill, but he has an incredibly large contract that will scare some teams away. He would be an undeniable upgrade to the Stars defense corps.

The Jets have interesting names to keep in mind also. Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane's names always seem to be in rumors. Andrew Ladd lately has had his name circulate. The problem is that they are in a similar situation to the Stars. They're on the cusp and can reasonably tell their fanbase they are close to making the playoffs.

The Panthers? The Islanders? The Flames? The Predators? They have little to offer a team in the Stars situation unless the Stars want to acquire pending unrestricted free agents. The dream of making a big move that impacts the Stars long term mid-season is a hard one to latch on to.

When June or July rolls around circumstances will be more favorable because teams tend to be more open to big moves in the offseason. The Stars were able to pick Tyler Seguin up last year, and they have more than enough pieces available to make a big splash once again. It may happen at the deadline, though as we have seen that's unlikely. Given all of the assets under team control it seems almost certain that something is coming in the near future.