The worst part of the 2017 NHL season for Dallas Stars fans is that Jim Nill put them in the unenviable position of needing to root for the success of the Anaheim Ducks. Missing the playoffs was tough, but that insult added on top of the other injuries was a tough cross to bear.
At the trade deadline, you may recall that the Ducks acquired winger Patrick Eaves from the Stars in exchange for a conditional second-round pick. A second for a guy that ended up scoring 30 goals isn’t an impressive return, but the conditions attached to the pick could have made it a first-round pick.
Well friends, those conditions have been met. Anaheim has defeated the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the playoffs in seven games to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Eaves, though he got hurt in game three of the series, only had to play in half of the games in the first two rounds. Thankfully for the Stars, he made it through just enough action for the conditions to click.
Optimistically, I began writing this right before game six of the series began. As the Oilers got out to a 5-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game, my confidence was shaken pretty badly. I almost deleted this story. For the first time in a decade, the Ducks came through in the clutch to make this story a reality.
Thank you Ducks.
It’s true that the draft becomes a crapshoot the further away you get from the top pick. The Ducks’ first-round and second-round picks are both far away from the top, but teams are twice as likely to find a quality player at the end of the first than they are at the end of the second. The Ducks winning game seven is a big deal for the Stars as they try to build for the future.
That is, unless you’re of the mind that there’s no time like the present. I firmly believe this pick should be used to get immediate help for the NHL roster. A first is going to have quite a bit more trade value than a second. This one win makes it that much easier for Nill to help the Stars get back towards the top of the conference where the Dallas Stars feel they belong.
For all of you who had trouble embracing the darkness, and I suppose those of you who had no trouble, it’s finally over. Print the banner and plan the parade route. The Anaheim Ducks have slayed the Edmonton Oilers and Connor McDavid. Corey Perry is no longer on your side, and you no longer have to grit your teeth pretending to like watching Ryans Kesler or Getzlaf play.
It’s now in the best interests of the Stars for the Nashville Predators to handle business. To that end, I have a message for P.K. Subban. Bless you, my friend. Do the Lord’s Work to fully maximize the Eaves return for your friends in Dallas.