The Dallas Stars made a minor trade today, sending defenseman John Nyberg to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for center Oula Palve. Both players are expected to report to their respective new AHL clubs.
Which, at least today, is just a flip of locker rooms. The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and the Texas Stars are set to faceoff tonight for only the second time ever here in Texas. The first time happened just 48 hours ago, when the Texas Stars beat the WBS Penguins 5-2. It was also the second (and last) conditioning assignment game for defenseman Stephen Johns, who was recalled yesterday by the NHL club.
Though Johns’ departure would seemingly alleviate the logjam of blueliners in Texas, the team had been carrying eight guys before Johns’ assignment and the trade of Nyberg. By trading away some of that depth, the Texas Stars will get some forward depth they can work with.
According to Sean Shapiro from The Athletic, the Finnish center Palve had been on the Dallas Stars’ radar this past summer as a free agent before deciding to sign with Pittsburgh. It’s the 27-year-old’s first season in North America, and he seemingly needed a change of scenery.
Texas Stars had a surplus of defenseman and AGM Scott White wanted to bring in some center help. Oula Palve had been courted by Stars as a free agent out of Finland but had signed with Pittsburgh instead. White said both players needed change of scenery— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 17, 2020
Palve put up one goal and seven assists in 37 games with WBS Penguins this season, and had eaten several healthy scratches of late. The last three seasons in Liiga, Palve had put up:
2016-2017: 5 G, 17 A, 22 Pts in 53 GP
2017-2018: 14 G, 36 A, 50 Pts in 55 GP
2018-2019: 16 G, 35 A, 51 Pts in 53 GP
Dallas signed 23-year-old Finnish free agent Joel Kiviranta from Liiga this past summer. He’s fit in well with the Texas Stars and has had a solid showing when recalled by Dallas this month. Hopefully, Palve can look at his countrymen and make the most of his new surroundings as Kiviranta has in his first professional season in North America.