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Gavin Spittle: My Top Trade Targets For The Dallas Stars

February 08, 2019 - 7:14 pm

By Gavin Spittle

The Stars have made two nice deals thus far and I believe that more need to come. Andrew Cogliano and Jamie Oleksiak have been real solid lineup additions and the team has been streaking. That said, I believe that they need to add scoring depth. While it looks optimistic that the Stars will be in the playoffs, we all saw how last season ended.

Stars Fans deserve a playoff series. You can’t add another year and become the team that has made the playoffs just two times in the last eleven years. For General Manager Jim Nill, that would be two playoff appearances in six years. For those reasons, I feel as though the Stars have to continue to be aggressive buyers before the Monday February 25th trade deadline. Here are some options that I like.

Mark Stone is a beast. He’s 6’4 213 coming down the right side on the wing. In 54 games with Ottawa, he has 54 points. He is unrestricted after this season so it will be an expensive rental. He’s only 26 and this would allow you time to court him and hopefully sign him to a long term deal. This is the fifth straight year that Stone has been over 50 points.

Wayne Simmonds is a terrific fit for Dallas. Just like Stone, there are a bunch of teams that want his services so the price for a potential rental will be high. Plus, Philadelphia has played well of late and is within distance of a wild card spot. The Flyers and Simmonds have not been able to reach a new deal and that might force Philly’s hand by the trade deadline. I have loved his game since he was a youngster with the Kings. He is also a terrific room guy who no one on the ice wants to mess with. Jamie Benn, you no longer have to screen the goalie and take the punishment on the Power Play, Wayne has you covered.

Mike Hoffman of the Florida Panthers has 44 points in 52 games and he’s under contract next year for 5.2 million. Think about this line. Tyler Seguin centering Alexander Radulov and Mike Hoffman.

I don’t think it hurts while you’re on the phone with Panthers GM Dale Tallon to see how they feel about Vincent Trocheck. I don’t see Florida budging but I would give up some nice pieces for the 25 year old center. The reason I bring him up is he’s just getting back after a two month layoff and has been scoreless in his last four games. His point total in prior years is impressive and consistent. He is signed through 2021-2022 at 4.75 million which is a terrific deal for his point production. Florida is rebuilding and Trocheck is likely a big part of their future.

Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues. He has 7 points in his last 5 games and as hard as it is to believe, the St. Louis Blues are currently the second wild card team and only six points behind the Stars. What an incredible comeback for a team that just recently was thought of as a seller. You would think St. Louis would be crazy to deal Tarasenko but last year they were in the race and received an amazing offer from Winnipeg for Paul Stastny and took it. The big off season deal for Ryan O’Reilly cost them their 1st round pick this upcoming year but that would be your first piece of many. We are talking multiple top prospects, that 1st round pick and probably one of the Stars young quality players. That’s what St. Louis gave up for O’Reilly. He has four years remaining on his deal at 7.5 million with a no trade clause. Maybe the lure of multiple Russians on this Stars squad would peak his interest? Is it a long shot, absolutely but I want this team to go for it and Tarasenko at 27 is a superstar.

All of these players would require your first round pick as part of the deal. They would also require young prospects. Jim Nill has been reluctant to move Jason Robertson who is tearing up the OHL right now. If I’m a team, that’s the hot prospect I want. I also think a lot of teams will be interested in 2017 1st round pick Jake Oettinger. Boston University is having a down year but Oettinger is the exact opposite. Between the pipes, he’s sporting a .923 save percentage including 47 saves against Northeastern in his last game. Once again, that’s on a Boston University team that doesn’t have a winning record.

If you are wondering about Julius Honka and Valeri Nichushkin, teams don’t covet healthy scratches. I think teams might take Honka as the back end of a deal. I’ve said several times that I believe Honka is an NHL caliber D-man. At 2.95 million and another year left on his deal, teams are not going to take on Nichushkin. That would be amazing if one did.

The Stars are in a buy now situation and I certainly hope they are aggressive in the upcoming weeks.