The Dallas Stars will try to add at least one player at the 2023 trade deadline, and that’s likely Be a top six forward. They are one of the best teams in the league but their cap space is limited, which means they have to get creative and move a bad deal by offering picks or prospects to add impact players. Here’s a look at three players likely to be traded by the Stars before the deadline.
Outside of a stellar top line, their five-on-five production isn’t great. Jason Robertson, Rupp Hintz, and Joe Pavelski are their only stable line, and it hasn’t changed much outside of injuries, playing 425 minutes together, while the next closest line has played 222 minutes together. The second through fourth lines have changed quite a bit throughout the season, including the wingers Denis Gurianov.
12th-overall pick of the Stars in 2015 He is now 25 years old and seems to deliver even worse results with more seasons under his belt After a promising 2020-21 season, with 12 goals and 30 points in 55 games, he stepped down. Guryanov scored 11 goals and 31 points in 74 games last season and saw his ice time drop by a minute and a half. This season has been even worse, with two goals and seven points in 33 games. His ice time is also down another two minutes from last season.
Guryanov is essentially a third-line, potentially fourth-line player. The Stars have tried to get him going a bit by promoting him to the second line, but he’s been inconsistent (“Denis Gurianov’s dominant display for Stars: ‘It’s a consistent thing'”, athleticJanuary 22, 2023).
Dallas is headed to the playoffs and needs roster spots and cap space to add top-six players. Gurianov has a cap hit of $2.9 million this season before becoming a restricted free agent this summer. The Stars will certainly want to get assets in return for him but may be willing to move him to upgrade at this point. I don’t see him sticking around on the second line for long, given his lack of production.
Radek Faksa Similar to Gurianov he is another fairly high draft pick that the Stars missed out on. He was drafted 13th overall in 2012 and reached his career highs of 17 goals and 33 points in 2017-18. He’s turned his game into a very solid two-way center, but he’s being paid $3.25 million in AAV through the end of 2024-25. As a fourth-string player, the Stars won’t be able to keep him this season or beyond.
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Moving Faksa may cost stars, but not much. He’s proven he can play a shutdown role on the third line and is a great penalty killer, so a team could give up a lower-round pick for him. His cap hit is the most worrisome. That’s too much for a fourth-line player but acceptable for a third-liner. He is too reliant on himself, where he takes 72.1 percent of his draws. His faceoff percentage of 55.3 is also very good, which explains his defensive zone starts and time on the penalty kill. A competitor can certainly use His style of play, but not many teams have the cap space.
The easiest way for the Stars to clear cap space without interfering with the team’s success is to move goaltender Anton Khudobin. He spent this season in the American Hockey League (AHL) and is eating up cap space to stay there. His NHL cap hit this season is $3.33 million, but while he’s in the AHL, the Stars save $1.12 million. They’re still allocating $2.21 million to their third goaltender, and that money could be put to better use.
To move Khudobin would require management to give up an asset, with no leverage around it. They need help up front and they can either make a deal with a vendor and kill two birds with one stone Dump his salary and get forward help elsewhere
With the resurgence of Jamie Benn and others, the Stars have a good chance to make some noise in the postseason and need to make sure they aren’t a one-liner team. It didn’t go well for them last season despite Jack Oettinga’s all-world performance in net. Moving any of these three players would open up much-needed cap space for the Stars to hire at the deadline and push for a deep playoff run.
Rob Couch is a THW freelance writer primarily covering the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He covers everything you need to know about fantasy hockey. He will also keep you up to date NHL Stats News and trade negotiations.
You can find more of his work here here.