The 2012 NHL Draft is coming up on Friday, which means one of the busiest weekends in all of sports is beginning. Dallas needs some help on their roster, and the upcoming new draftees will start the infusion of fresh talent.
While the NHL trade deadline was relatively silent this year, expect a lot of movement during draft day, and more than a few potential moves for the Stars outside of just draft picks.
Steve Ott was a big name being thrown out during the trade deadline. He was even listed as one of the top 10 available players by NHL Network. However, the Stars were in the middle of a run and battling for the division lead, so they ultimately decided not to move him at the deadline.
Ott will be turning 30 before the season starts, so he still has plenty of hockey left in him. The Stars could move him to acquire draft picks or prospects, or package him with another player to get a top-tier scorer.
The Stars' captain turns 34 in the middle of next season and could also be a casualty of a potential youth movement within the organization.
Last season, Morrow struggled to find consistency. He missed 25 games, making it really tough to get into the swing of things. There is no way to be sure if it was the nagging injuries from a long season, or his age that slowed him down.
Morrow can still be a very productive player and many would love to see him stay with Dallas. He may not be traded, but look for his name to be floating around on draft day.
The Stars still look like they are in position to be players for Zach Parise or Ryan Suter. With open cap space, both will be pursued once free agency opens.
Nonetheless, those plans may change if a trade opens up for a defenseman or a scorer on draft day. The gamble that the Stars face is that there is no guarantee of signing either, so it will be hard to pass up trade offers.
The Detroit Red Wings look to be in the mix for both free agents as well, and competition to sign these players will be tough.
The Stars announced that offer sheets were extended to Jamie Benn and Philip Larsen, but it doesn’t look like they will be signed anytime soon. Negotiations for their new contracts are at a near-standstill until the new collective bargaining agreement is signed.
The good news about that is it shows that Benn is trying to maximize what he can get on this contract. That is a big indicator that it will be a long-term deal. Negotiations may run all the way into September, but chances are that Benn will be a Dallas Star for a long time.
Via the Stars' website, Sheldon Souray has publicly said that he wants to remain in Dallas. Last season, he was one of the better defensemen on a team that needed blue line help in a major way.
Reports circulated that Souray declined a one-year, $3 million contract, but then news broke saying that Souray was never officially offered the contract, meaning that it couldn’t be declined.
This is good, because it shows that there is an open dialogue between the team and the defenseman. Bringing Souray back would keep a solid player and great veteran presence in Dallas.
The Stars are looking to make an offer that would keep cap space open for major free agent pursuits. At the same time, Souray is trying to maximize his earnings, because he will be 36 when the season starts.
Look for a Souray contract to get done after the new CBA is signed.
Ryan Murray will only be a Dallas Star if they trade up.
The Stars enter Friday’s first round with the 13th overall pick in the draft. That could change in the draft day shuffle, but it seems likely that they will be staying put.
The Stars should seriously look at taking a young defenseman on Friday night. Who they end up with will be determined by how much interest there is in defensemen early on. One thing that is for sure is that Ryan Murray will not be falling to the 13th spot.
Cody Ceci, from the OHL, seems to be the most attractive option if he makes it past the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals. He would add some offense from the blue linee and the Stars could use more fire power at every position.
This draft class is very deep with defensemen. If Ceci doesn’t make it to the Stars, there are a ton of options. It will be hard to get a player they don’t want, it just depends on where the chips fall before they're on the clock.