After the Dallas Stars lost 3-1 to the St. Louis Blues on home ice Saturday night, head coach Jim Montgomery was a beaten man. “Unfortunately, I’m very frustrated that I have not been able to gain consistency in our performance and I have not been able to change the culture of mediocrity.”
Montgomery doesn’t come from a history of mediocrity. He’s been able to shape his teams at all levels before now into a ‘one team, one goal’ mentality. It’s what has made him quite successful as a coach. It’s also part of why the Stars brought him into the NHL this season without much experience at this level. The team needed a culture change, and now, more than halfway through a season where management and ownership have been very quick to express their frustration in the public sphere, they decided a trade was necessary.
Now, is this trade a direct result of the culture that Montgomery talked about this weekend? General manager Jim Nill reportedly told local media assembled at practice today that his leadership/intangible assets weren’t the reason for the trade, but a nice-to-have. Nill said in the press release announcing the move that, “In acquiring Andrew, we are able to add a conscientious player who brings a veteran-presence to our room. His explosive speed, 200-foot game and iron-man mentality will help our team both on and off the ice.”
The Stars are also getting a player that has good underlying numbers but has been a bit snakebitten when it comes to scoring this year but drives offense anyway for a forward that plays a more shut-down style. On a team that has plenty of that particular skill set in the bottom nine, Shore becomes a little more expendable on the trade market.
Stars get offence from Cogliano, who drives play but can't finish recently; Ducks get Shore who has a shutdown profile and kills a lot of penalties. pic.twitter.com/IMeOPaUUPW— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) January 14, 2019
Cogliano, 31, is signed through the 2020-2021 season at a cap hit of $3.25 million. Shore, 24, was signed through 2019-2020 at a cap hit of $2.3 million. So, the Stars take on an extra year and about $1 million more in salary cap hit with the trade.
Other Notes/Statistical Nuggets
*Cogliano is usually a double-digit goal scorer in the NHL. Of his prior 11 seasons, he’s eclipsed 10+ goals nine of those (and one season you kind of can’t count given the fact that it was cut in half by a lock-out, so taking that season out, that’s pretty good for a team needing some secondary scoring). He’s shooting at 4.7% this season, so he’s bound to regress back to the mean (his mean is 10.5% in his career), which should indicate some goals coming Dallas’ way.
*Cogliano has played in 64 postseason games. If winning helps breed a winning culture, his playoff experience should help the relatively-inexperienced Stars (assuming they make it into the playoffs this season, anyway.)
*Sean Shapiro from The Athletic reported that Nill likes Cogliano’s foot speed, calling him “one of the faster players in the league”. For a team that struggles to set the pace on a consistent basis, Cogliano could help with that.
*Shore had the second-most total shorthanded playing time (behind only Radek Faksa). Cogliano actually has more total shorthanded time this season, so it’s not likely as big of a hit in that part of the game as expected on initial blush.
*By all reports, it seems that Dallas traded a high character guy for another high character guy.
Cogliano traded ...one of the best quotes in the room. In any room, for that matter— lisa dillman (@reallisa) January 14, 2019
Just a terrific person
This isn’t a trade that is going to make Stars fans think they’ve somehow found the magical key to a Stanley Cup run. On surface level, it looks like a trade for trade’s sake. I’ve tried to tease out the positives of the Cogliano addition, and have no doubt that his inability to score will come back just as I had no doubt that Tyler Seguin wasn’t going to shoot at a career low either. (So to be clear, no, it wasn’t Jim Lites’ public ripping that got Seguin going, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.) But it’s also tough to watch this team get older through this kind of trade and know that their inability to properly identify and draft quality high-offense guys means that there isn’t that skill set coming down the pipeline.
So sure, the trade likely helps the team in the short-term, but the long-term issues with this team’s roster construction have not been addressed, either.
RIP Shore Celebrations