The Dallas Stars have landed a defenseman, though it may not be the one fans were clamoring for to start the day.
With a few hours to go before the trade deadline, Stars general manger Jim Nill acquired defenseman Kris Russell from the Calgary Flames.
Here was the first report of the return:
Hearing it’s Russell for D Jyrki Jokipakka, F Brett Pollock and a 2nd round pick. #Flames— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) February 29, 2016
Now, that's not a huge price to pay in terms of present-impact personnel. Pollock is a decent prospect, and Jokipakka is losing a footrace to fit into the lower half of the Stars defense now or in the future, but neither is a particularly high-end prospect.
The second round pick is conditional per reports from Bob McKenzie and others. According to Elliotte Friedman, the second becomes a first if Dallas makes the conference finals (which would mean a pick in the 27-30 range). For those of us who are not prospect crazy, that's not too bad. For those who live for the NHL draft, well...
It's a risk-type move. Russell is a small-ish defenseman with some very questionable possession stats (albeit on a very questionable possession type of team), but he is a UFA at the end of this season, so if he doesn't work out, they aren't stuck with him long term. If he does bring another dimension to the Stars defense, then the price isn't ludicrously high in terms of guaranteed assets. As with most trades for developing players, the full cost can't be known for several years.
There are also rumblings the team is still in on Dan Hamhuis but is waiting for the Vancouver Canucks to come down on their asking price. The defensive makeover may not be done just yet.