Today, the Dallas Stars took advantage of their wealth of draft picks by sending their 6th round pick (conditional) to the Ottawa Senators for the rights to veteran defenseman, Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar is to become an unrestricted free agent on July 3rd, and has been offered a lucrative deal from the KHL, as many Russian players of Sergei's caliber often receive.
Gonchar is a five-time All-Star who won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. Sergei began his NHL career in 1994, two years after being drafted by the Washington Capitals in the first round, 14th overall. Between 2000-2004, Gonchar lead the league in scoring among all defensemen, scoring 241 points. Since 1995, only Nicklas Lidstrom has more points for defensemen.
In 2010, Sergei signed with Ottawa, which included a no-trade clause (I mention this because if I'm not mistaken, Gonchar would have had to approve this trade to Dallas).
Stars General Manager, Jim Nill on the trade: I imagine most players who are free agents, especially Russian players have offers from the KHL. This gives us an opportunity to negotiate and the reason for the conditional pick."
This is an absolutely no-risk move by Mr. Nill. If Gonchar excepts the offer from the KHL, then the Stars give up nothing. If he signs with Dallas, most likely a 2-year offer, then the Stars gain a much needed scoring threat from the blue line and an even more valuable veteran leader to mentor the young group of defensemen who are coming up through the Stars system.