The Dallas Stars look like playoff contenders this year. It’s a nice problem to have, but it’s a problem nonetheless.
The team enjoys a reputation as one of the NHL’s best on defense, but their arsenal of scoring weapons is having trouble finding the net. And with $815 in cap space (yes, that’s an 8 and a 1 and a 5) and a depleted pool of draft picks, the club has a narrow path to acquiring a marquee player at the trade deadline.
The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro believes that realistically, there are only 10 players the Stars will be willing to move – and of those 10, only Radek Faksa and Jason Dickinson will have other teams lining up for a possible deal. And a package that includes prospects comes with obstacles of its own:
...[T]he Stars have made a strong commitment to not moving their top prospects — Thomas Harley, Ty Dellandrea, Jason Robertson, and Jake Oettinger. The rest of the prospect board is likely available, but there’s a steep drop-off when it comes to perceived value.
Aside from maybe Oskar Back or Albin Eriksson, there aren’t any other prospects in the Stars system I would covet if I were another NHL GM at this point. For conversation’s sake I’ll mention Ben Gleason and Riley Damiani as other prospects that could be part of a larger deal, but I also wouldn’t have much issue parting with either of them.
Options do exist, though. The front office could decide to pull the trigger on the $4.75 million in long-term injured reserve money they saved when Martin Hanzal’s back injuries ended his career. Shapiro asked around and came up with a list of names the Stars could go after – two of whom play for the very New Jersey Devils the Stars defeated in overtime on Saturday:
Why he’d fit: Coleman isn’t a rental. He’s also a native Texan from Plano and trains with Stars players in the offseason in Frisco. He’s got another year left on a team-friendly contract at $1.8 million against the cap, and he already has 19 goals this season. If the Stars acquired Coleman today, he’d be their leading goal scorer right away.
What’s the cost: According to our Devils’ writer Corey Masisak, a deal would be highly unlikely. Masisak said if we’re to believe the statements from Devils ownership about trying to be back in the hunt during the 2020-21 season, then the forward is untouchable and isn’t getting moved. The Devils don’t have much reason to move him, so the cost will be high. Masisak said the package Ottawa got for Ryan Dzingel last season — two second-round picks and Anthony Duclair — is probably the minimum to even start the conversation.
Why he’d fit: Palmieri has scored at least 20 goals in three straight seasons and is well on his way to topping 20 this year. He’s a power-play cannon who could help the Stars, who struggle there, and he’s not a rental — with another year left on his contract at $4.65 million.
What’s the cost: Turning back to Masisak, he thinks the Devils aren’t going to trade Palmieri unless they can get a similar package to the one they got for Taylor Hall. He believes it would likely cost a first-round pick or a conditional pick with easy conditions to become a first, a good prospect or an interesting young player and maybe a second pick as well.
There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Mike Heika posted his observations from a big night in Newark.
ICYMI, the Stars have added to their leadership group and split them into “home” and “away” groups – not stripped Tyler Seguin of the “A” as a birthday present. Just so you know.
The Stars have expanded the leadership group to include Lindell and Comeau with As. That’s why Seguin wasn’t wearing one tonight. This was discussed by team earlier this week, nothing more— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) February 2, 2020
Speaking of Segs’ birthday, it’s always fun to watch No 91 celebrate.
The only thing better than Joel Kiviranta’s first NHL goal on Saturday is Matthew DeFranks’ annotation.
During this picture, Esa Lindell stuck his head in and said something to Joel Kiviranta in Finnish. Kiviranta said Esa was informing him that his hat was too high and he needed to pull it down more. https://t.co/fbfvnqbfUh— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) February 2, 2020
Around The League(s)
- Connor Hellebuyck came back from the All-Star break rested and ready, stopping 38 shots as the Winnipeg Jets thrashed the St. Louis Blues 5-2. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
- The Colorado Avalanche opened strong but faded fast against call-up netminder Alex Lyon in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. [Mile High Hockey]
- Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 12 games as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Arizona Coyotes in a 3-2 shootout. [Second City Hockey]
- Marc-Andre Fleury earned the shutout as the Nashville Predators got blanked 3-0 by the Vegas Golden Knights. [On The Forecheck]
- And a sluggish Minnesota Wild team showed the effects of nine days off, taking a 6-1 beating at the hands of the Boston Bruins. [Hockey Wilderness]
This season's 4th installment of the Battle of Alberta had 11 goals, 2 very important points and one intense goalie fight https://t.co/82gsNRZ11e— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) February 2, 2020
Because you can’t say “goalie fight” without including video:
All hell breaks loose in the Battle of Alberta, including a goalie fight between Mike Smith and Cam Talbot pic.twitter.com/7YRcWnFbEx— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 2, 2020
Have the Blackhawks overcome the issues that made them the sad sacks of the Central? Steven Ellis says their TDL decisions could tell you a lot about their future.
The Chicago Blackhawks have their flaws, but have remained in the wild-card hunt. That makes them one of the NHL's most interesting clubs with the deadline approaching, writes @StevenEllisTHN https://t.co/ocApJaPtNf— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 2, 2020
Who are the big names to watch at the deadline? Former Star Brenden Dillon makes David Satriano’s list of potential movers.
Kreider, Ristolainen among players to watch before Trade Deadline. https://t.co/J1eBEhTAzg— David Satriano (@davidsatriano) February 3, 2020
It’s nice to see a couple of hometown heroes getting this kind of league-wide love. (Also interesting to note that Dallas is the only team with two in the top 10.)
The TOP selling NHL jerseys of 2019-20. pic.twitter.com/ybOQdp7imr— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 31, 2020
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars are on the road this week, but Austin Metro fans can still get together on game day.
It's Pluckers Watch Party Season! Head over to Pluckers on Lakeline on February 4th to watch the Texas Stars take on the Rockford IceHogs. There will be hockey, trivia and loads of fun! See you there! pic.twitter.com/35v1XMxc48— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) February 3, 2020