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The Trade Deadline: An Open Letter to Jim Nill

Remember when Dallas picked up Brad Richards? That was fun, right? Wouldn’t it be nice to have more fun this season?

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Vegas Golden Knights
Max would look awfully nice in Victory Green. He might also enjoy the contrast between Dallas and Montreal
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Mr. Nill,

Can I call you Jim? I don’t want to be presumptuous or anything, but I feel like we’ve been through some stuff together. Good stuff (the Tyler Seguin trade, Jamie Benn’s Art Ross), not so good stuff (the 2016-2017 season), and some weird stuff (Jiri Hudler’s unfortunate illness - seriously, did he go on a cruise pre-season?). Anyways, this isn’t a letter about how far we’ve come, it’s a letter about where we’re going. Really, it’s me begging you to do something at this year’s trade deadline.

Hear me out.

I get that deadline shopping is often expensive, and that you’re (mostly) picking through assets that are declining, over-priced, or possibly both. “When you’re drowning, other GMs throw anvils… yadda, yadda, yadda.” I also know you’re staring down the barrel of an extension for Tyler Seguin, and that you added significant pieces/cost in the offseason. I don’t think anyone is ignorant to the fact that your actions now could have serious consequences.

The thing is, I don’t care.

Sure, the 2017-2018 Dallas Stars aren’t at the top of anyone’s Stanley Cup Contenders list. Now is not the time to push your collective chips to the center of the table in the hopes of converting during the team’s championship window. Believe me, I get that. I’d hate to lose Julius Honka, too. Actually, count me in the camp that’s kind of upset he hasn’t been used more this season. Sorry, I digress. The Stars are not contenders, but it is looking like they will at least make the dance. To extend the metaphor, a full makeover might not make sense, but why not grab a new pair of shoes?

What this year’s version of the Stars are, is fun. Seriously, if I ever score a goal again, I’m doing Alexander Radulov’s sheath-the-sword celebration. Every time the Stars go on the power play, I find Tyler Seguin, then I load the league’s goal-scoring leaderboard (just seven back from Alexander Ovechkin!) to see how much ground he needs to make up. I like watching Remi Elie do whatever it is he’s doing at a given moment. I hate deciding between my “Faksa for Selke” and “Klingberg for Norris” t-shirts. I even learned how to spell Esa Lindell without checking the roster. (Pro tip: he is not related to Chuck Liddell, but that would be cool.)

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t want the ride to end in some hard-fought, prideful loss to the Nashville Predators. I need another hit, man. I want to make a “Max Domi gets his head start on Arizona’s relocation” joke. I want to delude myself about picks/prospects packages, hometown discounts, and whether or not the Stars could fit Mike Hoffman under their salary cap. I want Brendan Gallagher throwing mad shade at PK Subban during my hypothetical Dallas v Nashville matchup. Something! Anything!

I’m even okay if it doesn’t work out so great. As long as the deal is reasonable, I won’t be too mad. Just don’t bring in Rick Nash. To hell with it, a Nash-Benn combination would be magnificent. All in.

Just do something.

Until then, I’m just a boy standing in front of a GM, asking him to convert future assets into roster help in the immediate and mid-term.