Let’s make a trade.
When I asked for mailbag questions this week that was the constant theme. Who will the Stars trade and how soon will it happen?
@seanshapiro With 9 D, the Stars will have to trade 1 or 2 of them since Ruff isn’t even a fan of having 8. Who do you think gets traded?
— Marco Aurélio (@MarcoAurelio_43) December 1, 2016
@seanshapiro any chance a trade is made for a goalie ? Stars have plenty of assets. Or do they just lie in the bed they made ?
— Rob Palladino (@Pallly1970) December 1, 2016
@seanshapiro Toronto needs D and are dangling Nylander, think he’s on nill radar? We have what they need. I’d sacrifice klingberg for him
— Justin Schmidt (@JustinSchmidt24) December 1, 2016
@seanshapiro how long does Nill wait before making a move to turn the season around?
— Mark Harrill (@atxstranger) December 2, 2016
To start off, I think the Stars will make a move soon. It’s the only way the Stars can solve their overloaded roster problem on defense, and we’ve reached the point of the season where the Stars need a bit of a shakeup.
So before we make a trade, we have to recognize our movable asset.
John Klingberg isn’t getting traded, neither is Stephen Johns or Julius Honka. Jordie Benn, Patrik Nemeth, and Jamie Oleksiak don’t have the trade value to really move the needle, so that leaves us looking at the veterans — Johnny Oduya and Dan Hamhuis.
You could get some takers on Hamhuis, but the obvious answer is Johnny Oduya. He’s an unrestricted free agent next season, could be a nice rental for another team, and would help unlock some of the log jam on defense. Oduya has a limited no-trade clause (he can list 17 teams he can be traded to), but it likely wouldn’t be hard to find a team interested.
So what would Oduya bring in return?
If you’re looking at player, it’s likely a depth forward. You could also swing Oduya for a pick and a prospect, which may be the more likely option.
Either way, Oduya (or Hamhuis for that matter) don’t land a goalie and they don’t land a big-name forward. So while I envision the Stars will make a trade sooner than later, it’s not going to be the big-ticket goalie trade some fans have asked for.
After making this hypothetical trade, the Stars would have two options. They could continue to carry eight defensemen (which wouldn’t be ideal), or they could send Julius Honka back to the AHL (which may also not be ideal).
Let’s dive into the rest of the mailbag.
@seanshapiro what is wrong with Klingberg? Will sacrificing a fan help? Because if it would I’m sure we could find some “volunteers.”
— Trex20 (@t_rex20_) December 1, 2016
Please don’t resort to human sacrifice.
A simple answer for Klingberg is consistency. He hasn’t played well on a consistent basis, and he hasn’t had the familiarity of a consistent defensive partner.
While he was often ripped on by some fans, Alex Goligoski was a good fit with Klingberg and he allowed the Swede to better play his game. The Stars signed Dan Hamhuis thinking he’d be a good fit with Klingberg, but that combination has not worked.
Of course, Klingberg also needs to be held accountable for his play. Once that happens he’ll start to trend in the right direction.
@seanshapiro how much should Stars have offered Goose and Demers based on hindsight?
— Andrew L-A (@KD5MDK) December 1, 2016
Even with hindsight I wouldn’t have brought back Jason Demers or Alex Goligoski. I think having Goligoski for this season would have worked well, but I don’t like his five-year contract that he got with the Arizona Coyotes.
Dallas would have been forced to spend big on Goligoski, and he wanted a no-movement clause (which he got in Arizona), so he would have handcuffed the future of the defense. I look at Goligoski’s departure as the Stars letting go of an asset one year early rather than four years too late.
@seanshapiro Why aren’t the forwards not wearing #91 scoring? That’s the bigger culprit than the musical defensemen right now.
— Zach (@ZWal93) December 2, 2016
Injuries are a factor, but that’s also become a crutch for this team.
It was a tough stretch for the Stars to get through, but at some point you have to get rid of the excuses and execute.
A lot of it comes down to finishing. Even in the games that the Stars have a high amount of quality chances, they aren’t finishing them and making opposing teams pay for mistakes.
On the other end of the ice, opponents have made the Stars pay for mistakes and it’s seemed to hurt the overall team psyche.
— Max (@mailmanmax) December 1, 2016
Not without an injury.
Philippe Desrosiers is in the ECHL right now with the Idaho Steelheads, while Maxime Lagace has emerged as the AHL starter. Landon Bow, who is on an AHL contract, has been backing him up recently.
Lagace has found some consistency in the AHL and has shaken off some early struggles. He had a great showing in NHL training camp, and he seems to have re-found that form.
However, Stars aren’t going to call-up a goalie from the AHL without an injury. While the Stars goaltending has been suspect this season, it hasn’t been the reason they are struggling to live up to expectations.
@seanshapiro what’s the average lifespan of an NHL player’s stick?
— Taylor Holt (@tay18rholt) December 1, 2016
They don’t last very long.
I don’t have the exact statistic on that, but I can share some insight Radek Faksa gave me at practice earlier this season.
On the day before a game at the Stars practice facility in Frisco players are asked to put “game sticks” along the wall so it’s easier for the equipment staff to pack. Typically players put three sticks along the wall, but Faksa often packs five sticks for each home game.
I asked him why, and he said there have been game he’s broken all three sticks rather quickly — often on face-offs. Faksa tends to put a lot of pressure on his stick in the face-off circle, and it doesn’t always hold up.
@seanshapiro who in the AHL squad looks like they are ready to be called up and play in the NHL so far?
— Kingj345🏆🏆 (@joshprice40) December 2, 2016
The first call-up from the AHL right now would be Gemel Smith, he proved that when the NHL team needed fill-in help during injuries earlier in the season.
After that Justin Dowling and Jason Dickinson are viable NHL options now, while Matej Stransky and Remi Elie would probably be considered if the injuries got even worse.
The Stars won’t need a call-up on defense this season, but if they did Mattias Backman would be a good option.
@seanshapiro have the Stars considered making a deal with FSSW to broadcast a couple TXStars games? Like what the Spurs/Rampage have.
— Jason (@dfwhockeyfan) December 1, 2016
I don’t have any insight to it. I’ve asked before, but haven’t really gotten many answers.
However, I think it would be a great idea. It might even improve programming with how bad the Dallas Mavericks are.