Ramblings: Should Toronto deal James van Riemsdyk and more off-day talk (June 2)

Neil Parker


James van Riemsdyk - USA TODAY Sports Images


With Game 3 still a day away, there seemed to be a lot of NHL news that didn't pertain to the Stanley Cup finals that broke Thursday. Here's a run through the happenings …


The No. 3 pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft is available, or at least, the Stars are listening to offers. Dallas is in an interesting situation holding the high pick because of it's compete-now setup.

Ales Hemsky, Jiri Hudler and Patrick Sharp come off the books, and there are huge needs on the blue line. Head coach Ken Hitchcock has a long-standing history with Kevin Shattenkirk, and the Stars enter free agency with approximately $16.6 million in available cap space.

Radek Faksa, Brett Ritchie and a trio of young defensemen (Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak and Esa Lindell) are the only current restricted free agents, so there should be ample cap space to make a pitch to Shattenkirk. More salary relief could also become available if Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi are moved.

The Stars could also make a play on multiple supporting defensemen, such as Michael Stone, Brendan Smith and Trevor Daley. The No. 3 pick comes into play here, too. Dallas could float the pick ahead of the expansion draft to acquire an NHL-ready defenseman, too.

As it stands, Dallas isn't exactly chalked full of assets to protect leading into the expansion draft, both among its forward ranks and defense corps.

While the obvious trade fits would be Minnesota and Anaheim, it would be surprising to see conference rivals — and divisional foes in the case of the Wild — make that type of move. So, where are the fits in the East?

Carolina jumps off the page, and Florida could be a fit. Would Dallas consider a pitch from the Canadiens with Nathan Beaulieu as the focal point?

The bottom-line is that Dallas is built to win over the next two seasons, and the No. 3 pick was an unexpected asset to turn into a roster player. Losing a deal over a 10-year span won't matter if the Stars win a championship in either of the next two seasons.

General manager Jim Nill has proven to be willing to make big deals, too.




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