What a day it was indeed, and nothing happened. Tomorrow we will all witness arguably one of the best draft classes to come into the NHL in a decade. That, coupled with a flurry of buy-outs this week has prompted this offseason to top everyone's list as the most exciting in recent memory.
Let me start with some of tomorrow's trade speculations which surfaced early in the day. We all know who Seth Jones is and we all have dreamt/joked about the Stars trading up to draft this Plano native franchise defenseman. A lot of faint hope was lost when Stars GM Jim Nill expressed his concern at the price of trading up in this draft; and I don't blame him, Seth Jones (or the number one pick, rather) will cost a LOT in a trade. Here's what I saw on twitter earlier:
Mac Engel is a reporter for the Ft. Worth Star Telegram and this tweet caused quite a reaction in the local Stars' community (if you saw it posted elsewhere first, feel free to comment). Regardless, this trade could involve either the Colorado Avalanche or Florida Panthers, both of which could benefit from a player like Loui.
I know a lot of you are slightly disgruntled at the prospect of losing Loui Eriksson, but you have to give something up to get something in return. Loui plays a very solid and desirable two-way game. He fits well into the Stars mold, but with many wingers indicating they will be able to step up into the lineup, and the prospect of acquiring a center (which could allow Jamie Benn to move back to wing), I might not be opposed to such a move.
Now let's not get ahead of ourselves, we cannot sell our souls to get a player like Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon in Dallas, but Loui Eriksson is not untouchable and this is not the first time we have heard rumors of a possible trade involving our favorite Swede. Think bigger picture. Also, don't be disappointed if it doesn't happen, I think we would all love it if Loui stuck around and Nill saved us from highway robbery (assuming the price is outrageous).
This next topic I saw floating around has actually been buzzing for several days now. Vincent Lecavalier was bought out this week by his long time team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. At 33, his play has slightly dropped off but he definitely has gas in the tank to fill a big hole at center in Dallas. Our speculation was confirmed today when it was made known that Stars management had already met with Lecavalier's camp. Again, let's not jump the gun, Vinnie spoke with about half the NHL teams today (maybe an exaggeration).
Now here is where I get ahead of myself and talk numbers (stop reading if you think there's no way we go after Vinnie).This is what we know about him logistically: he was being paid $10 million before he was bought out with a front loaded contract dragging on a cap hit of $7.7 million (Dallas is figuring ~$10 million of cap space this summer). I obviously do not like a $7.7 million cap hit for Lecavalier, and neither should you. He will probably want no less than 3 years meaning a front loaded contract for 4-5 years could cost a team no less than $5-6 million a year of cap space. I would be able to handle that. Over 7? I don't think so, but someone might do it, we've seen crazier things happen.
I am sure there was much more floating around that was overshadowed by some of the biggest player news we've seen here in awhile; news that could put Dallas in the NHL spotlight for much of tomorrow. Let's hear it if I missed it.
All of this makes for a very exciting Sunday in store for everyone. And please Stars fans, don't be disappointed if we don't end up with Seth Jones or Vincent Lecavalier (come free agency). Whatever happens tomorrow, I am almost certain we will see at least one trade involving the Stars, and many involving the rest of the league. Hold on to your britches folks, Dallas is in New York and it's going to be a wiiiild ride.