Category Archives: Dal. Stars

Five Players Off to Disappointing Starts in 2016-2017

As every new season rolls around, there are bound to be players that come in hot and players that come in cold. Most of the time these come as surprises, especially for teams paying big money for players that start the season slow.

1. Justin Williams, Washington

At 35 years old, Williams is at the tail end of his career. After seven seasons and two Stanley Cup wins in Los Angeles, he signed a two year, $3.25 million per deal with the Capitals in hopes to give them the extra push in the playoffs to make it past the second round.

So far this season, Williams has two goals and four points in 21 games. He is on pace for 16 points, which would be down 36 from 2015-2016. Washington needs Williams to start producing immediately. Currently playing on a line with Lars Eller and Zach Sanford, becoming an extra layer of scoring would help push the Capitals up the standings and win their second consecutive Metropolitan Division title.

2. Anthony Duclair, Arizona

After an impressive rookie campaign in 2015-2016, Duclair has fallen off a cliff early this season. Acquired in the Keith Yandle deal with the Rangers in the spring of 2015, the Coyotes envisioned Duclair as a future top-six mainstay, but now are reportedly listening to offers on him.

In 21 games this season, Duclair only has one goal. On pace for only a handful of goals, Duclair is not doing much to help Arizona improve after last season, as they are currently tied for last in the league.

The Coyotes forward core is primarily young, with the likes of Max Domi, Christian Dvorak, Lawson Crouse, and Laurent Dauphin making up a large majority of the group, so inconsistency is expected. But, Duclair has been here before and has a 20 goal season under his belt. Arizona needs him to turn his season around if they want to turn theirs around as well.

3. Andrew Ladd, New York (I)

Signed to be John Tavares’ left winger for he next half-decade, things have not gotten off on the correct foot for Andrew Ladd and the New York Islanders.

Ladd has bounced around on all four lines and subsequently only has two goals in 21 games. He played with John Tavares for around ten games and had no goals, but it may be time for another trial run, seeing that he is going to be wearing blue and orange for a long time.

If Ladd can find his groove next to Tavares, Nelson, or Cizikas, it would be a huge plus for the Islanders. Currently in last place with Arizona, they’ve taken a huge step back after two straight 100 point seasons.

4. Jimmy Hayes, Boston 

Hayes has struggled since being traded to Boston from Florida, but this season has been far worse than the previous. He has one goal and no assists in 21 games and has been a healthy scratch on occasion.

Hayes has one year left after this year at $2.3 million, but his future with Boston appears uncertain. A trade does not seem out of the question at this point in time. Hayes is 6’5 and a good skater for his size, and at his current contract there may be a few takers. A scenario change may be good for him to get back on track.

5. Jiri Hudler, Dallas

Hudler signed a one year, $2 million deal with the Stars this offseason, which appeared to be a very team-friendly deal at the time. However, in the four games Hudler has played when he has not been injured, he has zero points and zero shots on goal.

Hudler has been regressing since being almost point-per-game with Calgary in 2014-2015. If he can return to that form, he would become a very valuable asset for the Stars, either on the roster or on the trade market.

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

How major trades look today: the Spezza and Kesler deals 

Re-visiting major trades from recent years and how they turned out today. This is Part I of a series. 

The Spezza deal

Dallas receives: Jason Spezza, Ludwig Karlsson

Ottawa receives: Nick Paul, Alex Guptill, Alex Chiasson, 2015 2nd 

This was a relatively unimpressive haul for the Senators. Alex Chiasson was just recently traded to Calgary for Patrick Sieloff, a depth defenseman. Alex Guptill is no longer with the organization and is in Buffalo’s farm system. The 2015 second turned out to be Gabriel Gagne, who is putting up average numbers (28 points in 34 games) in the QMJHL. Nick Paul, a fourth round pick in 2013, has seen playing time in Ottawa but only has five points in 24 games. There’s room for improvement with Paul, however. 

As for Dallas, they got a consistent 60 point scorer and a veteran presence. Spezza helped lead Dallas to the best record in the Western Conference this past season. Ludwig Karlsson, an undrafted free agent, is no longer with the Stars organization. 

It essentially turned out as: 
Jason Spezza for Patrick Sieloff, Nick Paul, and Gabriel Gagne

Verdict: Stars win the trade

The Kesler deal 

Anaheim receives: Ryan Kesler, 2015 3rd 

Vancouver receives: Luca Sbisa, Nick Bonino, 2014 1st, 2014 3rd

As for this trade, the Ducks have found consistency in it, where the Canucks have found all but that. Ryan Kesler has slotted in nicely behind Ryan Getzlaf, and even earned himself a new six year deal in the summer of 2015. The contract has the potential to be bad in the future, but it locked up a good asset in the present for the Ducks. As for the 2015 third, the Ducks selected Devan Sideroff, who had 59 points in 63 WHL games last season and played in one AHL game for San Diego with no points. 

The Canucks, like Anaheim, locked up a player from the deal to a new contact. Luca Sbisa got a three year deal with Vancouver at the end of the 2014-2015 season, but has been relatively unimpressive since. Nick Bonino was flipped for Brandon Sutter in a deal that also sent a second round pick to Pittsburgh. Sutter missed most of the 2015-2016 campaign with injury while Bonino helped propel the Penguins to a Stanley Cup. Lastly, the two picks for Vancouver turned out to be Jared McCann and Derek Dorsett. McCann was recently traded in a deal that sent Erik Gudbranson to Vancouver. Dorsett was signed to a four year deal at the same time Sbisa signed his deal, and he now carried a gruesome 2.65m cap hit for three more years. 

It essentially turned out as:

Ryan Kesler and Devan Siederoff for Luca Sbisa, Erik Gudbranson, Derek Dorsett, and Brandon Sutter

Verdict: Ducks win the trade

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Colorado’s Barrie generating tons of interest 

Recently, reports came out from Elliotte Friedman that Tyson Barrie is likely to be moved by the Colorado Avalanche this summer.  Read the rest of this entry

Alex Goligoski’s future in Dallas is uncertain 

Alex Goligoski is due for a new contract this offseason and his future in Dallas remains up in the air. The 30 year old defenseman has three goals and 20 points in 45 games this year and has helped guide Dallas to third in the league as of midway through January. Goligoski is a veteran of 525 NHL games and has seen time with the Penguins along with the Stars. 

The Stars also have Jason Demers to re-sign this offseason, but they are in a better position with him since he will likely command less than Goligoski. 

Moving forward, the Stars without Goligoski would have Oduya, Klingberg, Demers, Nemeth, Lindell, and Jokkipakka/Johns on defense. 

Alex Goligoski’s next contract will likely command term and major money, and the Stars need to estimate whether or not they are willing to pay him what he wants. He could fetch between four to six years at five to six million on the free agent market. 

The Stars also need to worry about Jamie Benn’s contract which ends after next season. 

At the current odds, Alex Goligoski’s return to Dallas next season is unlikely. He will be there for the end of the year since Dallas is in the hunt for the Cup this year. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Five Bold Predictions for the 2015-2016 NHL Season

The NHL season starts tonight, and each year something happens that makes all of us scratch our heads. Whether it’s a trade, firing, or odd standings movement, the league will look different than it did last year, just as last year looked different than two years ago. Some of the items on this list are much bolder than others – but here are five predictions for the upcoming hockey season.  Read the rest of this entry

Seguin and Crosby are Early Hart Trophy Favorites 

The Hart Trophy is handed out annually to the league’s most valuable player, and each year the decision seemingly gets harder and harder. The names like Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares, Ryan Getzlaf, and Sidney Crosby have started to consistently find their way onto ballots, but this year, like last year with Carey Price, there could be some new names surfacing for nomination.  Read the rest of this entry

Trades Highlight Day Two of 2015 NHL Draft

Although nothing will out-do the hours leading up to the draft yesterday, day two was no bust on the trade front. The GMs worked tirelessly to improve their teams whilst trying to find gems in the later round of the draft. Day two saw the trade of Cam Talbot finally, but still no Patrick Sharp or Phil Kessel. 
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