The trade deadline festivities for the Dallas Stars kicked off with the deal to send captain Brenden Morrow to the Pittsburgh Penguins for dynamic defensive prospect Joe Morrow. The deal further illustrates that the Stars are trying to get younger, and as the deadline approaches, Dallas could possibly (and likely, in one case) be making some more moves.
The two key players to focus on as we head into next Wednesdays trade deadline are forwards Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy.
Jagr, on most nights, has been the Stars best player. His signing has been a coup for Joe Nieuwendyk, but the fact that a 41-year-old has been the Stars' top player night in and night out is a fairly damning criticism of the rest of the roster. The Stars want to re-sign Jagr, and reportedly have met with him to discuss the possibility of an extension.
If the Stars were to trade Jagr, the return would seem likely be a middle-round pick. Picks are good assets for a rebuilding club to acquire, but acquiring a middle-round pick for Jagr essentially ends the Stars' season.
Is potentially wrecking their playoff chances worth it to the Stars for only a mid-round pick? It almost certainly isn’t. Someone will have to be willing to pay a premium for Jagr to acquire him from the Stars.
Derek Roy, on the other hand, seems like a foregone conclusion. At this stage of the roster-building process, the Stars can’t allow a valuable player in his 20s to leave as an unrestricted free agent. If he isn’t signed to an extension prior to the deadline (and all indications thus far have said the chances of that happening are incredibly slim) Roy will be skating with a new team by next Wednesday.
The reported suitors are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, and Chicago Blackhawks. They all make sense as fits, but Anaheim, Chicago, and Vancouver present the Stars with opportunities to target young scoring forwards. The Ducks and Blackhawks, in particular, have plenty of young, talented centers they could offer as part of a package for Roy.
The Stars will not trade either player without getting a solid return. With most teams in the league sitting within a few points of playoff positioning, this is shaping up to be a buyer’s market. The Stars are one of the few teams with players available who could help a contender. If the Stars move either player, the young additions to the future Stars' roster will likely be substantial.
Josh Lile has written for many different places and we're happy to have him join the WFAA team. His work is most often featured on Defending Big D. You can follow him on Twitter at @JoshL1220 for hockey thoughts and pictures of food.