NHL Trade Rumors: Stars Have Little Incentive to Deal Steve Ott

Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterFebruary 25, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 10: Steve Ott #29 of the Dallas Stars skates against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on January 10, 2012 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Stars 5-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Dallas Stars have already made a notable deal leading up to the trade deadline, sending defenseman Nicklas Grossman to the Philadelphia Flyers for a couple of draft picks.

That was a deal the Stars could afford to make. They surely need as many bodies as they can get for their postseason run, but dealing a guy who's set to become an unrestricted free agent for a pair of draft picks was an easy call.

The deal must have sent the message that the Stars are willing to sell at the deadline, though, as suddenly the rumor mill is spewing out daily fodder about one of their top players in Steve Ott.

On Friday, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com reported that there are "lots of teams" interested in swinging a deal for Ott. LeBrun says the Stars are listening.

Dealing Ott would likely net the Stars something pretty good in return—Draft picks, for example. Maybe even a coveted first-rounder. If that ends up being the case, the Stars are going to have a tough decision to make.

But the Stars should be in no real hurry to deal Ott. If they're serious about making the playoffs, they're going to need him. They're barely hanging on as it is, and Ott is one of their best and most experienced players.

Besides, Ott is a fan favorite. Dealing him would be sending a message that a lot of fans don't want to hear. Despite the fact the Stars could probably get something good in return for Ott, trading him would effectively be waving a white flag. 

They wouldn't just be waving a white flag as it pertains to this season, either. Dealing Ott would transform them from being a fringe playoff team to being a team on the outside looking in in no time at all. For all intents and purposes, they will have entered rebuilding mode.

Fans don't want to hear that, and the Stars don't need to go into rebuilding mode right now. It's not like the team they have is broken beyond repair or is on the verge of being broken beyond repair. They don't need to blow things up and start from scratch to ensure future success.

Should the Stars listen to offers? Yes, and we already know they are.

However, nobody should ignore the fact that the Stars have even more incentive to keep Ott as they do to deal him. He's the kind of player the Stars should only deal if they need to sell, and they don't need to sell.


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