After losing two straight games in what had to be the most lackluster performances of the season, against Pacific division rivals, no less, Stars fans knew the day heading to the trade deadline could pose to be incredibly busy.
Stars fans know their team.
It was accepted that the Stars were going to part ways with either Jaromir Jagr or Derek Roy, but to trade them both in a matter of 30-45 minutes had Stars fans buzzing and at a loss for words all at the same time. By the end of the evening, with yet another ¾ of a day to go, Tomas Vincour was also dealt as well leaving the hockey world wondering, “Are they done?”
The first move of the day came when Derek Roy was sent to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2nd round draft pick and defensive prospect, Kevin Connauton. The report on Connauton is that he’s an offensive-defenseman who has a specialty for the man advantage. There is significant concern about his ability in his own end, but with the likes of Brenden Dillon, Jamie Oleksiak and Patrik Nemeth who are incredibly large bodies who are above average behind the blue line, Connauton is free to start break-outs much the same way Trevor Daley can do. The Stars have already assigned Kevin to the Texas Stars of the AHL which will net him some time with Oleksiak and Nemeth as the Stars head into the Calder Cup playoffs.
Roy, who was acquired via off season trade with the Buffalo Sabres for Steve Ott and Adam Pardy, in my opinion, was never given a full chance to take over as a top-notch center on this team. As the Stars were making the move for Derek, reports were flowing into the front office that he would require shoulder surgery which would push his availability to November. Thanks to the NHL-imposed lockout, Roy was able to successfully rehab his repaired shoulder and the other ailments that plagued him over the last several years. Derek often found himself shuffled between the 2nd and 3rd lines, which resulted in lower ice time which in turn saw his production fall below the expectations of the Stars and their fans. However, despite what some folks thought, Derek liked Dallas. He has said on several occasions that the fans were exceptionally nice and the city was great. I feel that Roy, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, could have been an integral piece of this team moving forward. Unfortunately, that’s something I don’t think we’ll ever know.
Just half an hour later, the Stars ended speculation and sent their leading scorer, Jaromir Jagr to the Boston Bruins for a conditional 2nd and wingers Lane MacDermid and Cody Payne. MacDermid isn’t going to be replacing any goal light bulbs any time soon, but he’s a gritty player who will throw the body around and not let anyone take advantage of the smaller, skilled players. Lane is the son of Paul MacDermid, a 14-year veteran of the NHL. The Stars have called MacDermid up and he will be joining the team in Anaheim, but his availability is yet to be known for Wednesday’s game against the Ducks.
Cody Payne is a right winger who is currently with the Plymouth Whalers and is having his best season of his early career. In 66 games played, he’s hammered home 24 goals and 45 total points. He’s added 75 PIMS as well which coupled with the fact he is a right shot, will have the Stars coaching staff looking for a spot for Cody very quickly. However, at just 19 years old, look for Payne to spend a season or two grooming his game down at Cedar Park, with the occasional call up when injuries and/or suspensions warrant it.
The biggest “gut-punch” of the day came with the realization that the future Hall-of-Famer, Jagr was no longer a Dallas Star. The organization immediately plastered Jaromir on every piece of print advertising that was available, claiming that the “Legend Becomes a Star.” It was widely known from the beginning that Jagr was brought in to provide leadership and put fans in the seats. The fact that Jagr led the team in scoring was just a bonus, and probably prolonged his stay here in Dallas. As positive as that is, it probably was detrimental to the Stars in obtaining top-notch return for one of the best players ever in the NHL.
Finally, as Tuesday came to close, Dallas made one more move, sending perennial minor-leaguer, Tomas Vincour to the Colorado Avalanche for defensive prospect, Cameron Gaunce. Gaunce, who lead the Lake Erie Monsters in plus/minus has been assigned to the Texas Stars and will provide depth to the Stars blue line as they head into the AHL playoffs.
As Dallas looks to take on the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, there will be a whole new look to the team. In a move to have players ready for the Texas run in the playoffs, Dallas sent Reilly Smith, Francis Wathier and the newly acquired Connauton to Cedar Park and recalled Matt Fraser, Tom Wandell, Colton Sceviour and Alex Chiasson. The move will assure the Texas Stars the ability to move the players involved back and forth if needed throughout the Calder Cup run. In the mean time, the Stars will undoubtedly say the right things during pressers. “We believe we still can make a legit run at the top-8,” will be uttered on several occasions. Is it possible? Sure. When you’ve got Kari Lehtonen in net, you stand a chance to win every night. Sometimes, the moves that were made today are enough to shake a room down to its foundation which will bring the team closer when they build it back together. What isn’t known is if the Stars are done with their “fire sale.” At this point, is there anything left that isn’t smoldering?
Below is a behind the scenes look at the NHL trade call that took place, finalizing the deal that sent Derek Roy to Vancouver.