Every team in the Pacific Division has been up and down, but it sure seems like every team except the Dallas Stars is trending up as the playoff race heats up. The Stars had a big lead for the division crown, only to see it evaporate as they went on an ugly losing streak.
With yesterday’s move to grab Alex Goligoski for James Neal and Matt Niskanen, the Stars have tried to replace the offensive-defenseman hole that Sergei Zubov filled for many years. The move also clears potential cap space while GM Joe Nieuwendyk takes a run at keeping Brad Richards around past this summer. So that move is big-picture in many ways, leaving the immediate future open to this week’s results.
Status: On the bubble – another bad week and things get much uglier around the hyper-competitive Western Conference. Factor in an uncertain ownership situation and it’s as murky as Texas chili.
Need: Penalty-kill help, defensive depth
Players On The Block: Brad Richards ($7.8 million), Mike Ribiero ($5 million), Karlis Skrastins ($1.375 million)
Prediction: The Stars stay low-key following their big deal and add defensive depth for minimal roster movement.
Further Reading From Defending Big D
- Feb. 20: Brad Richards Rumors
- Feb. 21: Dallas Stars Acquire Alex Goligoski: Was James Neal Worth It?
This story was written by Mike Chen.