I want to start today’s mailbag with a quick video breakdown.
Last night Radek Faksa a goal in the second period after completing one of the most unique zone entries I’ve ever seen.
If you missed, it here is the play:
Faksa goal pic.twitter.com/aNuV14DOkM
— steph (@myregularface) March 3, 2017
First Faksa sees the check coming and leaps out of the way. Then with a bit of luck, he keeps sliding — roughly six feet — along the boards before he regains his footing, keeps possession of the puck and makes a pass.
“They passed it to me and I saw that their defense didn’t have interest to play the puck, just tried to hit me, so I just tried to jump around him and I was sliding and just kept sliding and I somehow landed on my feet and scored a goal,” Faksa said after the game.
The play brought back memories for me of the 2016 playoffs where Antoine Roussel also made a leaping play near the bench to set up a goal by Faksa.
Anyways, let’s get started with the mailbag:
@seanshapiro still a ways out, but do you think there’s a chance the Stars will look to trade their 1st rounder for immediate NHL help?
— Zach (@ZWal93) March 2, 2017
It’s really difficult to answer any draft questions right now, especially since we don’t know where the Stars will pick in the first round.
With that in mind, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Stars to flip their first-round pick for NHL help. I don’t know if you’d be able to get a one-for-one deal, like when the New Jersey Devils flipped the No. 9 overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks for Corey Schneider, but a first round-pick combined with prospect or a player lower on your depth chart could be used obtain an NHL forward.
— Tanner Wilson (@TexSR_Tanner1) March 2, 2017
People with money willing to foot the bill. There are currently two full-time rinks in Austin, which serve the size of the hockey community there admirably.
If the Stars wanted to help further grow the sport in Central Texas, and this takes a big investment, I’d look into building a Dr. Pepper Stars Center in Cedar Park. In this dream world it would be a two-sheet surface and could be used the Texas Stars practice facility when H-E-B Center is booked for other events.
@seanshapiro how are we getting better for next season if we are just getting picks for our veterans?
— Kingj345 (@joshprice40) March 2, 2017
Because getting better for next season is a two-step process, the trade deadline was about stocking up on things for the long-term future. Dallas wasn’t going to bring back Lauri Korpikoski or Johnny Oduya, so picking up something for nothing is smart asset management.
We can better judge the Stars management and how they prep for next season this summer.
@seanshapiro what veterans do you see Nill pursuing this off season
— Off the Post (@marcussenpools) March 2, 2017
To start I think the Stars look at bringing back Ales Hemsky and Adam Cracknell.
If fully healthy Hemsky can be a valuable part of this team and his skating ability was severely missed through the season. Cracknell is the perfect fourth-liner and I like his versatility to play both center or wing.
Then I would like at re-signing Patrick Eaves, who the Stars traded to the Anaheim Ducks. But it has to be at the right cost. Eaves only made $1 million this season, which was a steal for a player that led your team in goals before he was traded.
My fear with Eaves, from a Stars standpoint, is the open market overvaluing this season and pushing him out of Dallas price range.
After my internal players, I take a look at the veteran defensemen available. I think the Stars would be very interested in Karl Alzner, but he’s going to be highly-coveted on the open market and may want to go to a team that actually looked like a playoff contender this season.
@seanshapiro do you think the stars re-sign Henri Kiviaho?
— Ronald (@RonaldPetty) March 2, 2017
Henri Kiviaho has likely played his last game with the Stars organization.
@seanshapiro What is your overall impression of the Stars moves at the deadline?
— Chase (@crajr_19) March 2, 2017
I think the Stars did a decent job at the deadline. They picked up three draft picks, and a prospect will eventually play in the NHL for four players that likely weren’t going to be part of the team’s future.
My bigger curiosity is the market for Johnny Oduya, which was obviously impacted by his injury.
Brendan Smith is younger at 28, but I was surprised to see the Detroit Red Wings flip him for a second and third-round pick. That makes me wonder how much more the Stars could have gotten for Oduya if he wasn’t playing with a bum ankle.
@seanshapiro What is your evaluation of Dillon Heatherington? How soon do you think he could make an impact in Dallas?
— Chase (@crajr_19) March 2, 2017
I put my full scouting report on Heaterington in the most recent edition of Stars Prospect Insider (you can subscribe for that here).
For a quick spark notes version, from what I’ve gathered Heatherington is a smart stay-at-home defenseman that will play in the NHL in two or three seasons. He’s not going to be a top-pairing guy, but he’ll be a reliable defender and used on the penalty kill.
@seanshapiro What burger sounds more appetising, Klingburger or Segs And Bacon?
— Zack Burt (@zdbman1125) March 2, 2017
I have eaten the Klingburger, and it was good. I have not eaten the Segs and Bacon burger.
Based on name, I’d give the edge to Segs and Bacon since I’m a big fan of an egg on a burger.
@seanshapiro Is Gurianov someone who can make the jump next year?
— Josh Craig (@_joshcraig) March 3, 2017
Denis Gurianov is certainly capable of making a jump next season, we just need to see if he earns that opportunity.
I think the key with Gurianov — remember he is only 19 years old — is making him earn everything. Another year in the AHL wouldn’t be a bad thing, and he could always make the jump to the NHL in the middle of the season.
@seanshapiro I feel like LV is almost sure to take one of Ritchie, Roussel, Oleksiak, or Johns. 2 will be exposed. Sound about right to you?
— Christian Bussler (@c_buss15) March 3, 2017
I think that’s a fair guess. Dan Hamhuis cold also be in the mix if Vegas wants to go that route.
@seanshapiro who would you protect for the expansion draft?
— AndrewGifford4 (@AndrewGifford4) March 3, 2017
I think this is how it will play out for the Stars when submitting their list of protected players.
1. Jamie Benn
2. Tyler Seguin
3. Jason Spezza
4. Radek Faksa
5. Brett Ritchie
6. Valeri Nichushkin
7. Cody Eakin
1. John Klingberg
2. Esa Lindell
3. Stephen Johns OR Jamie Oleksiak (whoever plays better over the final 18 games)
It doesn’t matter. Vegas won’t take a goalie from Dallas.
@seanshapiro seems oleksiak can’t seem to get a grip on dzone coverage. Think we expose or trade him if he can’t get it together?
— Justin Schmidt (@JustinSchmidt24) March 3, 2017
Before this season I wouldn’t have considered protecting Jamie Oleksiak, however with how this season has played out I think you could see him get protected over Stephen Johns if current trends continue over the final 18 games.
@seanshapiro Another young defenseman uncomfy w/uneven development opportunity from MTL. And a stay-at-home D at that. Why?
— BobSchaller (@BobSchaller) March 3, 2017
This is in reference to Greg Pateryn.
Don’t look at it as the Stars traded for Greg Pateryn. The Canadiens put out a league-wide memo a week before the deadline and no one bit on that, so he wasn’t the prize in this deal.
The Stars made the trade because they believed Jordie Benn would be taken in the expansion draft, and they wanted to grab another draft pick to their stock pile.
@seanshapiro Why can’t/won’t/hasn’t Nill addressed young D logjam? Where might Backman, Nemeth & either Oleksiak/Johns possibly end up?
— BobSchaller (@BobSchaller) March 3, 2017
Nill did take the first step toward fixing the logjam. He traded away veterans, which forces Lindy Ruff to play younger players, and it sets the stage for younger players to get the majority of the ice time for the remainder of the season.
Those younger players now have to perform and prove they should be part of the future plans. Julius Honka will be part of the NHL roster next season, so will John Klingberg and Esa Lindell, who is going to grab the rest of those spots?
In regards to Patrik Nemeth and Mattias Backman, the Swedes aren’t going to be part of the future of this franchise. The message has been sent to Nemeth that he’s last on the NHL depth chart, especially according to Lindy Ruff, and the Stars need to move him.
Backman is stuck in the AHL and there are better potential offers for him financially in Sweden, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he took that route this summer.
@seanshapiro saw a 17 mock draft w/ Stars taking 6’5 C Michael Rasmussen from Tri-City. Do we really have ANY clue what Stars will look for?
— DallasSportsFan (@TheCrafty71) March 3, 2017
It’s to early to give a good answer to that. Let’s see where they are picking first.
— Sean Thrussell (@Bigbubbaganush) March 2, 2017
Devin Shore has made huge stride, he’s played in the NHL all season after he was expected to start the season in the AHL.
Certainly been one of the highlights of the season.