It didn’t take long for the Dallas Stars to put their front office to work. Stars General manager Jim Nill has been with the team for only 2 months and he’s made free agent pickups , changed the coaching staff and has overseen his first draft. Now Nill has just pulled off the trade of the offseason, acquiring centers Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley and defenseman Ryan Button from the Boston Bruins. The trade didn’t come without cost as the Stars sent beloved wingers Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser along with defenseman Joe Morrow.
May 8, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins center Tyler Seguin (19) skates out with the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during game four of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Nill knows the time is now. He can’t afford to slowly rebuild this team. It must rebuild now. It must get the fans back. It must be built for today as well as built for tomorrow. It must be a playoff team in 2014. Former GM Joe Nieuwendyk built a good talent base and should be commended for it. Jim Nill doesn’t have to rebuild from scratch he just has to add the right amount of veterans to his ample supply of youth.
This plethora of untapped potential is exciting but that’s not enough to sell tickets. The diehard Stars fan will always be there. That much is undebatable. But the team needs to build on that fanbase if they hope to increase revenue. We all know a higher revenue often leads to a higher payroll (even inside a salary capped league this is true). It goes both ways. The only way to acquire more fans in the offseason is by acquiring starpower. It was a longshot from the start to try to sign Lecavalier but it was a shot worth taking.
Lecavalier signed with the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday so few options remained. The deal was way out of Dallas’ price range so no one should be upset. According to Darren Dreger the deal is for 5 years and will cost $4.5M per season. This would be a fantastic deal if it was made in 2005 (or maybe even 2010) but Vinny is 33 years old, and while still good, cannot be expected to play well enough on the back end of the contract to justify the signing. So the Stars had to keep looking.
Keep looking for a center
Keep looking for the star power.
Jun 22, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Bruins center Rich Peverley (49) passes the puck away from Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) during the second period in game five of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Enter yesterday’s trade. Tyler Seguin is a big-time player with a big-time game. Loui Eriksson was tough to lose but Seguin is 6 years younger and has tons of game for today and tons potential for tomorrow. The addition of Seguin and Rich Peverley fills a major need at center. Without this trade the Stars would be forced to play players out of position and/or find more stop-gap solutions like they did last season.
Newest draft pick, Valeri Nichushkin, is an exciting addition but fans in Dallas are demanding. They will believe it when they see it. While Nich should make a quick and noteworthy impact on the Stars right away, a major acquisition like Seguin will sell the tickets now.
It’s unknown what Nill and head coach Lindy Ruff plan to do with defensive veterans, Daley and Robidas, but they are on the trade block too. This team is rebuilding for immediate AND long-term success.
Stars fans don’t want to hear “rebuild”. Neither does owner Tom Gaglardi. Fans have waited too long to have a contender. They want a team now. So far the Stars are showing they plan to build a contender without sacrificing the future. The only question is, are they done?
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