Now that they have a new head coach in the fold, the Dallas Stars can begin focusing more on their players on the ice, with the trade market set to heat up and the draft quickly approaching this weekend. And there’s no secret of which area will be a focal point for them during the offseason.
If there’s an area that needs a big upgrade, it’s along the blue line. The Stars already made one move to improve their defensive in bringing in Sergei Gonchar and promptly signing him to a two-year deal. But with such a big need and plenty of cap space to work with, more moves may be on the horizon.
And with the salary cap coming down, and a thin free agent market, the trade circuit is going to be a very active one this summer. Which the Stars could take advantage of, as they have the pieces to offer up, and the money to spend. And there are at least two marquee defenseman that could be available for them to make a run at.
Two big names that have already graced the rumor circuit are that of Dion Phaneuf and Kris Letang. Both are in different situations with their respective teams, but the expectations are that each of them will be dealt at some point during the summer.
Indications out of Toronto right now are that Phaneuf is available as they try and reload their roster a bit in attempting to get back into the postseason. They’ve made it known that Phaneuf is available, though teams have apparently yet to call on him. His contract is up after this season and would be in need of an extension if he wasn’t going to be a rental.
Letang’s situation is similar, though the Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t made it officially known that Letang is available. Still, with his contract set to expire after next year, and a cap hit that will likely approach at least $7 million, he’s a luxury that the Pens will likely be unable to afford. Could the Stars, who have plenty of cap space, have interest in bringing him in and making him their top d-man?
It’s very possible that the Stars could offer up some prospects, or perhaps someone like Loui Eriksson, in order to try and bring in one of these high profile defenseman. If there’s one team you can expect at least one significant move from this summer, it’s this Stars club. Expect to hear their names in connection with at least one high profile defenseman this summer.