Trevor Daley has seen his name pop up on the outskirts of trade rumors as we near the trade deadline. The deadline, as you likely know, is tomorrow at 3 pm eastern. I suppose the Stars could move Daley before the clock strikes 3 pm, but how likely is a move?
The Stars have a defensive surplus that will become more surplus-y when Stephane Robidas returns from injury. Robidas has seen his name thrown about lately despite not being likely to come back into the lineup until March, The Stars have numerous young defensemen in the AHL. It isn't crazy to think the Stars could deal from the defensive depth to improve the NHL roster.
The key phrase though is improve the NHL roster. What incentive do the Stars have to deal any player right now without improving their roster for the playoff push? Dallas is on the bubble. Some of the vets who have been mentioned in trades aren't driving the bus at this point so their availability wouldn't be too shocking.
Daley though? He might not be elite, but he does take 20 minutes a night for a solid team. This isn't the type of piece a contending team normally wants to replace close to the deadline.
Jim Nill has made it known that the Stars are looking to make "hockey trades". If they make any moves it will be to improve the roster for years beyond this year. There will be no rentals for the remainder of the season and Dallas is unlikely to ship away vets for picks unless the return is solid. How would trading Daley fit into this mindset?
Three possible scenarios come to mind. None of the scenarios appear likely. Scenario one involves the Stars acquiring a significant upgrade to the blueline. In this scenario Daley would move out as part of the package. He would have to waive his no trade clause to go to a team trading away a top notch defenseman. Why would he want to do that?
Scenario two involves Dallas picking up a significant upgrade to the blueline also. In this scenario Daley would be dealt to a third party to clear his roster spot.The Stars would acquire an asset or two which would lessen the blow of the price required to improve the blueline. Assume the Stars traded for Dustin Byfuglien or Christian Ehrhoff for a moment. They would be motivated to deal Daley to alleviate salary cap commitments in 2015 along with picking up the extra roster spot this season.
Scenario three would require a team to blow the Stars out of the water with an offer for Daley where they get so much value in return for him that they would be doing a disservice to the franchise and fans by holding on to him. What does this look like? I imagine the breaking point is a first round pick. If they can get a second round pick for Daley that deal will likely be available in the offseason. First round value and higher though is something they would have to seriously consider.
The problem is that if that value was available Daley would have been moved this past offseason. Has he done enough to improve his stock this season to push him up that much in value? I'm not so sure, but I do think he would have more value now after the majority of an NHL season under a more structured game with Lindy Ruff.
Of the three scenarios, scenario two is the most likely. However, if you try to bank on a big acquisition via trade you are usually fooling yourself. This scenario still isn't likely. It would be great if the Stars could make a franchise altering acquisition to help the defense, but these players are coveted across the league. The cost is going to be prohibitive. The competition for these players is going to be fierce.
Do the Stars have what it takes to pull it off? Sure. Is the timing right? That I don't know.
I can make a decent assumption about the Daley rumors though. Daley's name has been brought up by three people; Eklund, Sam Carchidi, and Tim Panaccio. We all know where Eklund can be found. Panaccio writes CSN Philadelphia and Hockeybuzz. Carchidi covers the Flyers for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The common link? Philadelphia. All three are tapped in to the Flyers. Is it out of the question to think they might all have the same or similar Flyers sources relaying a rumor about Daley being available? Is it crazy to think that maybe the Flyers inquired about Daley, were told the Stars would move him in the right deal, and that's how the rumor spread? It's plausible, and certainly seems likely to me.
The rumors seem unrealistic. They seem to be coming from the same place. Could Daley move? Sure. Should Stars fans expect Daley to be wearing another sweater later this week? No. Focus your energy elsewhere. If an unlikely deal happens adjust accordingly.