DALLAS — As the Dallas Stars slipped in the Western Conference standings general manager Jim Nill started to get calls about potential trades for Patrick Eaves.
In the end the Anaheim Ducks made the best offer and Dallas received a conditional second-round pick on Friday in exchange for Eaves. The selection becomes a first-round pick if the Ducks reach the Western Conference finals and Eaves plays in at least 50 percent of the games.
“Started talking with Anaheim in the last week, they kind of targeted him,” Nill said. “He’s a low cap hit and the way he plays the game. He can play up and down the lineup, they started pursuing him pretty hard. It got to the point where the price they were willing to pay to get him was something we had to do.”
Nill said getting a potential first-round pick is what pushed Anaheim ahead of other potential trade partners.
“That was a key to it. We were targeting a second round pick and maybe a prospect,” Nill said. “And then we got closer to it there were other teams involved and when they (the Ducks) were willing to make it a possible first-round pick, that kind of was the last part of the trade.”
A pending unrestricted free agent with a favorable cap hit, Eaves is having a career year with 21 goals and plays a game that could fit into any lineup.
“He’s a coach’s dream,” Nill said. “You can put him anywhere in the lineup. He can kill penalties. Be on the power play, he does all the little things right in the offensive zone.”