NHL rosters are once again set for change after the Seattle Kraken’s exclusive window expires to negotiate with unrestricted free agents pending before Wednesday night’s expansion draft. That hasn’t stopped teams from talking to each other for moves after the expansion draft ends as the league heads straight into the draft and free agency days later.
It was an interesting time in twitter hockey.
The Dallas Stars are rarely in the news. That’s partly because GM Jim Nill is very good at playing all his cards close to the vest, and partly because there really hasn’t been much intrigue with the roster decisions that they had to take the last two. years – especially since the Stars seemed ready for one last Stanley Cup run with their current core this year. Typically, when Dallas comes into the rumor market, they’re one step away from executing whatever is rumored to be. Tyler Seguin’s trade on the 4th of July years ago comes to mind.
So generally I take Dallas as part of any rumors with a hefty tablespoon of salt. It’s just not in Nill’s DNA to leak what moves he might consider to improve his roster.
That brings us to this one that recently hit the timeline:
Teams are still talking ahead of the NHL Draft this Friday/Saturday (freeze lifts Thursday at 1 p.m. ET). One thing I keep hearing, as noted in my TFP article today, is that Dallas remains very interested in Seth Jones. There is chatter in the John Klingberg talks section.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 19, 2021
The line between the Stars interested in Seth Jones since the Columbus Blue Jackets is fairly easy to draw: Jones was born in the DFW area, he still has family here, and the “hometown hero returns” storyline is generally newsworthy in the market.
From a hockey perspective, that also makes sense. The 26-year-old Jones has been considered in the upper tier of hockey defensemen, sometimes even despite a questionable system and John Tortorella’s coaching style. Entering his peak age range, Jones could be a good addition to a baseline blue line centered on 22-year-old Miro Heiskanen.
But it seems this rumor originated because the Columbus Blue Jackets inquired about John Klingberg’s availability if the Stars couldn’t re-sign their top puck player in the end.
With the signing of Jamie Oleksiak with the Seattle Kraken yesterday, the Stars have blue line depth that needs to be addressed. Leaving Klingberg would only really make sense if the Stars were unable to sign him long-term after his current contract ended and a full season of service would earn Dallas a potentially higher return than dealing the future UFA on the date. trade limit instead.
But with the way the core of this roster is set to make one last run to win the Stanley Cup, plus Klingberg’s stated desires in the past to want to stay in Dallas and the presumably built-in money for his extension coinciding with heavy contracts expiring (i.e. Joe Pavelski’s $7m cap comes off the books next summer), I’m not sure I understand the reasoning behind Klingberg’s shipment before the start of the year.
Crazier things have happened – but trading Klingberg doesn’t seem like a decision Nill and company will make just yet. With the needs of the team being clearer now that the expansion draft is complete, there is perhaps a different trade that can be made whereby Dallas finds a way to add another impact defender without sending without doubt their best puck player and power-play quarterback to get it — and messing around with a chemistry that has worked really well from the backend here lately.