With Dustin Byfuglien Off the Board, Who Are Other Potential Defensive Trade Targets
Any hope Stars fans had of landing Big Buff was quashed with news of his extension on Monday, so who shall we turn our attention to next?
No matter how you felt about Dustin Byfuglien as a potential trade target for the Dallas Stars, and I made no secret he wouldn't have been at the top of my list, he was absolutely an intriguing piece at the very top of this season's defenseman trade market.
But with his newly signed five-year, $7.6 million cap hit deal freshly inked with the Winnipeg Jets, that's clearly no longer in play, leaving a much murkier situation for the teams like Dallas who might be trying to reinforce their blue line at the end of this month.
Also likely off the board (though probably never realistically on it to begin with for Dallas) is Kevin Shattenkirk, who was rumored to be available earlier this year. The recent injury to Alex Pietrangelo likely puts any sort of trade that further depletes the Blues defense to rest.
So who else is out there? Here are just a handful of other players out there who may be available at the deadline this season, though various circumstances may leave them far from an ideal fit for Dallas.
I've generally ignored players from the Western Conference given the added difficulty of getting a trade done against more regular opponents, but it's certainly something to look at later. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments.
The Islanders defenseman is probably the best fit for the Stars needs on paper but one of the least likely to come to Dallas for a variety of reasons. From a team perspective, the Isles are also dealing with a glut of defensive injuries, including one to Hamonic himself. From an individual perspective, Hamonic is trying to get closer to his home in Western Canada, and while Dallas is laterally closer and at least in the same conference, there's still a big geographic gap there. If not for pesky things like those facts, he'd seem to be an ideal fit.
This would be a classic all-in type move, but there are lots of reasons Phaneuf doesn't seem to be a fit (the cap hit of $7 million per season through forever being chief among them as well as the cost likely needed to acquire him). Still, he's a big body who has played relatively well under Mike Babcock in Toronto, and the Maple Leafs will likely try to sell off anything not nailed down.
He hasn't been great on a pretty mediocre Senators team, but his 6-foot-5 frame (though a lanky 202 pounds) and relative youth would make him appealing. He's an RFA this summer and has slightly better statistics than fellow hulking Sens defensman Jared Cowen, who at 6-5, 238 may have too rich a cap hit at $3.1 million for next season if the Stars want to do an offseason upgrade.
Keith Yandle/Dan Boyle
Yandle is at a contract impasse with the New York Rangers leading up to a UFA offseason, and the Arizona Coyotes are still holding on to $2.625 million of his contract, giving him a much more affordable cap hit as a trade target. He does seem to be more of the same that Dallas already has though - left-shot, skilled and sometimes defensively suspect (though his possession numbers, like many skilled guys, are great in sheltered minutes). His veteran teammate Boyle has much the same profile, and although he's got a full $4.5 million cap hit, he's at least a right shot.
His size, contract status and relative experience would seem to make him an idea target, but Coburn has really struggled since leaving Philadelphia. Never a mainstay possession defenseman, it's been even worse the past season-and-a-bit with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and that has to be a concern for Dallas management since the Lightning also feature an up-tempo game like the Stars.