For the first time in at least a handful of years, the Dallas Stars find themselves in the enviable position of having the ability to go after big-name players via free agency or by making trades. One player who the Stars may have had on their radar was removed yesterday when the Calgary Flames traded a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft and AHL defenseman, Jordan Henry to Washington for the bargaining rights to defenseman Dennis Wideman, whom they signed to a 5-year, $26.25 million deal.
Despite the fact that Stars owner, Tom Gaglardi stated they “will be there on any free agent,” remember he is a successful businessman for a reason. He’s intelligent with his finances and isn’t just going to throw money on a problem. In addition, he knows his hockey. I can’t begin to tell you how much a breath of fresh air it was watching Mr. Gaglardi so actively involved last week during the draft.
With that being said, the team has so many directions they can go throughout the rest of the off season to address their needs to set themselves up for success in the future. One option is to completely do nothing for the rest of the summer. Rely on the team that has missed the playoffs four years in a row, however only missed by a handful of points in the last two seasons. They can allow the next season play out in front of them and see how things present themselves come next February.
The hope, I think by most Stars fans is that the team go after a top-notch free agent. In a sense, it tells the fan base that Dallas is serious about winning and getting a big name like they did with Brett Hull. But what defines a “big name?” Wideman is off the table and Suter and Parise might ultimately price themselves out of contention (if Gaglardi is smart and not going to overpay for UFA).
Though those three are not the only “big names” available this summer, could the Stars be casting their eyes beyond this summer and into next year? The summer of 2013 boasts a substantial list of players that would fit the needs that the Stars will continue to look to fill, despite the four centers taken last week. Ryan Getzlaf, Joffrey Lupul, Mike Fisher and Derek Roy are just a few names that top the list of free agents-to-be. One name that, though very unpopular amongst Stars fans that requires the full attention of the Dallas brass is Anaheim right winger, Corey Perry.
I’ll wait for you to get back from the restroom.
Feel better? Good, now let me tell you why this needs to be tops of the Gaglardi to-do list. Of course there’s no doubt the Hart Trophy winner from 2011 has skills (50 goals, 48 assist in MVP season) but he has been on winning teams his whole career. Perry’s resume includes a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal playing for Team Canada in Vancouver, the Memorial Cup when he played with the London Knights of the OHL and another gold medal when he represented Team Canada in the World Junior Championships. The only thing missing from his repertoire is a gold medal from the IIHF World Championships, which he missed out on when Canada was eliminated by Slovakia in shocking fashion.
In his six full seasons with the Ducks, he has averaged 67.3 points a season. To put that in perspective, in the four years the Stars have failed to crack the top-8, Loui has scored more than 65 three times and former Stars Brad Richards and Mike Ribeiro each did it twice.
Other names that might interest the Stars to a trade-and-sign are Stephen Weiss from Florida who had a very strong playoff series against the eventual East Champs, New Jersey, Teddy Purcell from the Lightning and Perry’s linemate, Ryan Getzlaf, but it’s the former MVP who’s skills, leadership and winning track record that makes him the future star for the Stars future.