The Dallas Stars haven't been linked to many trades yet this offseason. Not entirely surprising, as general manager Jim Nill seems to play everything close to the vest and seemingly drop blockbuster trades out of basically nowhere. The Stars were linked to both Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza to trades seemingly only hours before the trades were made official.
It's how Nill rolls.
Yet, with the number one weakness of this team being goaltending, the Stars name has been linked to Cam Talbot as a trade candidate for a backup goaltender out of New York.
The other problem area for the Stars last year was defense. It was....less than good, to say the least. The mentality seemed to be "you score four, we'll score five" -- and they have the forward corps to do it. Even without top six winger Valeri Nichushkin, a rotating cast next to the Tyler Seguin - Jamie Benn duo, with Patrick Eaves out for an extended period of time, the Stars were second in the league in scoring -- but nearly dead last in the goals against department (only ahead of whatever Buffalo, Arizona and Edmonton were doing last year).
So of course the Stars should go out and acquire a top six winger this offseason.
There was a report out last night that the Stars were interested in acquiring Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Hearing Stars, Penguins and Panthers are teams most interested in #Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp. Asking price still too high.— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) June 24, 2015
My instant reaction to this was "where does Sharp fit?" The top six seems to be settled in most people's minds. Something like:
Benn - Seguin - Nichushkin
Hemsky - Spezza - Ritchie
With Antoine Roussel, Ryan Garbutt, Cody Eakin, Vernon Fiddler, Colton Sceviour, Travis Moen and Curtis McKenzie to round out the bottom six, the Stars seem set in the forward group moving into next season.
However, proven top six scoring is never anything you can have too much of. While he had a down year for the Hawks, Sharp is a positive possession player the last seven straight seasons. He's generally on the ice for more goals for his team than against his team, so you would think that acquiring Sharp would have the added benefit of improving the defense of the forward corps. After all, hockey is a team game and you need the entire unit of five committed to defense to be truly successful.
The thing is, Sharp does seem to fit in Dallas. His cap hit won't be an issue with as much cap space as the Stars have. I think the asking price might be what makes a Sharp deal unpleasant.
According to what has been floated on Twitter the last day or so, the Hawks are looking for a 1st or 2nd round draft pick for the draft on Friday, as well as a top six forward on a cap friendly deal (even better if it's still on an ELC) and a top prospect. When you look at the Stars' top six forwards, the only real players that seem to fit the mold are Nichushkin and Eakin (unless you can sell the Hawks on Ritchie as a top six forward based on his handful of games at the NHL level this year -- and my guess is that most would still consider Ritchie in the "prospect" category at this time).
Would you trade the Stars' 1st round pick (#12 overall) + Nichushkin/Eakin + one of Julius Honka/Brett Richie/Jason Dickinson to a rival within the division for two seasons of Patrick Sharp? The Stars currently do not own a third round pick, so trading away their first rounder without anything coming back means they won't be picking until 49th overall and then again in the fourth round, barring other moves that could be made to trade higher into the first or second round.
That cost is just exorbitant....unless there is something else coming to Dallas in the deal from Chicago that helps truly address the two top needs of the team -- goaltending and defense. If that cost to the Stars is just for Sharp only, I think the price is too high and the Stars will be just fine without him, and could use those assets for a more pressing need to be addressed this summer.
What package would you propose for Sharp? What package would you want from Chicago to part with those kinds of assets?