February is already upon us and the Dallas Stars are not where they planned to be. Thanks to an early bout with the injury bug, mediocre defense, and sub-par goal-tending the Stars are on the outside looking in. At fifty-two points, the Stars sit three points behind the Flames and four behind the Kings for a wildcard spot. However, the Stars are only four points behind Nashville for third in the Central Division.
It’s apparent that the Stars are not out of the playoff race just yet, but they need to make some sort of a move to shore up their defense or their goal-tending situation, if not both.
“Without a solid goalie the Stars will not win a Stanley Cup. Yes, they will light up the score sheet…but without a goalie the Stars are in trouble.”
-Brian Kasnicka, 30 in 15: Dallas Stars
My source has indicated to me that the Stars have been sniffing around both Pittsburgh and Detroit in regards to goaltending options. It’s no secret that the Jim Rutherford has been shopping Marc Andre Fleury since the emergence of Matt Murray. Fleury would have to waive his no trade clause to head to the lone star state, but it could be an intriguing opportunity for him. Fleury would be the clear cut starter in Dallas and would give the stars a reliable backstop. The asking price shouldn’t be too high for Fleury, but the Stars would have to send either Kari Lehtonen or Anti Niemi the other way, most likely the latter, to make the money work.
The Detroit Redwings’ goalie situation is a bit of a dumpster fire this season. Last year Petr Mrazek took the reins from Jimmy Howard and earned a lucrative contract extension, but has struggled so far this season. The Stars could make a play for either one of them, but like Fleury, Howard would have to waive his no trade clause to come to Dallas. The Redwings’ will most likely be sellers at this year’s trade deadline, so they could look to send one of the aforementioned goalies to the Stars for a plethora of picks and or prospects. Ken Holland and Jim Nill are friends, as well as former co-workers, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim Nill gives him a call.
Another name to watch on the goalie market is Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop. On Wednesday Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was discussing a possible Bishop trade. Friedman mentioned, “there is a growing sense Tampa Bay is willing to move the goalie, give him a fresh start six months before unrestricted free agency.” Tampa Bay is more than happy to hand over the starting duties to former first round pick Andre Vasilevskiy. Plus trading Bishop at the deadline would give him some time to acclimate to the starting role before the playoffs, if Tampa were to make it.
Dallas could kick the tires on Bishop, but Tampa is a cap strapped team that wouldn’t want to take any salary back in a deal. This fact may scare off the stars, as well as a few other teams searching for a goalie. Although my source has not mentioned Bishop as a possible trade target, Dallas GM Jim Nill should at least give Tampa Bay a call to see if a deal can be reached.
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