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Julius Honka was added back to the roster by the Stars over the weekend, as he agreed to a one-year deal for $700K. Dobber wrote about it in his Ramblings yesterday but I wanted to go a bit more in depth.
Honka is one of those players that has divided the online hockey community for years. There were high hopes for him; he was a 14th overall pick and his NHL point probability ratings were consistently high until a few years ago. He had shown flashes but – and this is just my opinion – he is reminiscent of Michael Matheson: depending on the night, he could be the best or the worst defenceman on his own team, but it's the latter much more often than the former. The flashes he shows keeps people (myself included) coming back for more.
I am in agreement with Dobber that there's not likely to be much here fantasy-wise. Either John Klingberg or Miro Heiskanen will run the two PP units, and both guys, among others, are way ahead of Honka on the depth chart for minutes.
The other aspect of this is it makes me wonder about Stephen Johns. He had been fighting concussion problems for years, returned, then left the lineup again. There is nothing official from anywhere, it just makes sense for the Stars to get some more depth on the back end, particularly from right shots.
Also just spit-balling here: I bet the Devils have some major trades in the works. Not necessarily major in raw star power, but maybe in dollars or term. As it stands right now, per Cap Friendly, the team has just 16 of 23 roster slots filled. They have just seven forwards signed that are not on entry-level contracts.
I bring this up because we have Tampa Bay still with the triumvirate Cirelli/Cernak/Sergachev to sign with no room to sign them. Most teams have basically finished their off season. There are only a dozen teams that can even take on a cap hit over $3.5M now, and that doesn't factor in those teams' own players needing signing (like the Islanders with Barzal) or internal cap limits. Of course, money can be moved around, but Tampa is looking to shed money, not take it on. Their pool is dwindling, and the fact that New Jersey has so many roster spots open makes me wonder if we don't see one or more Bolts players head to the Garden State (assuming they waive their NTCs, of course).
Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan of ESPN brought s