The Dallas Stars have had eight defensemen for quite some time now. (Read: a tad too long.) They made a move today to change up their blueline by sending Jordie Benn to the Montreal Canadiens in return for defensemen Greg Pateryn and a 4th round draft pick.
Stars have traded Jordie Benn to the Canadiens for Greg Pateryn and a 4th round pick.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) February 27, 2017
The Stars beard game got a lot weaker with the trades of Jordie Benn and Patrick Eaves in the last few days.
What did Dallas lose?
Jordie Benn is a second-pair defender who hasn't been given minutes. pic.twitter.com/z13BF8GkME— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) February 27, 2017
Benn had been one of the more consistent players on defense this season for Dallas. (Not to mention one of the more veteran players on the defense unit.) At nearly 30 years old, he has hit his ceiling in the NHL. He also has a very team-friendly contract, with two seasons left at a $1.1 million cap hit.
What did Dallas gain?
Pateryn is a 26 year old right-handed defensemen. He’s played in 82 career NHL games, 24 of which occurred this season, and seems to be more of a 6D/7D or AHL borderline player. He’s not particularly offensive, posting just 13 career points at this level (2 goals, 11 assists).
At a glance, Pateryn when compared to Jordie Benn is...
Taller (6-3 vs 6-2)
Heavier (221 - 200)
Younger (26 v 29)
Cheaper ($800k through next season vs. $1.1M through 2019)
Similar in possession (50.4 CF% vs 50.7 CF%)
The Stars now have a bit of a jam on that side heading into next season as the roster stands today:
The fourth round pick included in the deal for Dallas is for this summer, marking the second draft pick Jim Nill has acquired this trade deadline.
What does it mean?
Magic Eight Ball says it’s unclear and to ask again later. While the move on the surface appears to provide Dallas with a player that is one year younger than Benn and only under team control for one more season, it doesn’t address the 8-defensemen issue the Stars have had for quite a while.
Could there be additional moves made that makes the acquisition of Pateryn necessary to fill a potential hole next season? We’ll have to see what other trades are made to determine that before the start of next season — after the trade deadline, expansion draft, and NHL draft occur.
One thing this is going to do is force head coach Lindy Ruff into playing more of the young kids Dallas has. Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak, and Pateryn will all have one more spot to fill in the nightly lineup. It should allow Nill to evaluate what he has heading into the post season and which players he will part with in order to upgrade the defense.