Back in November when Tom Gaglardi was announced as the new owner of the Dallas Stars, he promised to spend money on players if the right opportunities arose.
Flash forward to the present and Gaglardi hasn’t changed his tune. With the Feb. 27 trade deadline approaching, he’s still prepared to open his wallet to improve the team.
“Scoring is a weakness,” Gaglardi told the Star-Telegram yesterday. “We are one or two guys away from having a top six NHL team. So I guess the question is – what do we do about that? Do we have some guys in the system that can step in? We might, but not tomorrow.
“Are we looking at making our team better in the top six? The answer is yes. If that means more payroll, are we prepared to do it? The answer is yes. The question is, what is the cost?”
I seriously doubt GM Joe Nieuwendyk is willing to spend much on a rental player. The Stars aren’t exactly one or two pieces away from winning the Stanley Cup. In fact, they’re in a dogfight to make the playoffs, trailing eight-place Minnesota by three points in the Western Conference. And even if they sneak in to the postseason, what chance do they have against the likes of Detroit or Vancouver?
If the chatter out of St. Louis is true (personally I’m skeptical), perhaps a forward like Chris Stewart would be worth pursuing. He won’t come cheap, but at 24 years old, the pending RFA could make for a nice building block. If the Blues think they’re Cup contenders, maybe they’d be interested in Michael Ryder or Sheldon Souray. And yes, I’m blatantly speculating here.
“We will be pursuing things,” Gaglardi said. “I think we will be active in the trade deadline, and certainly during the summer (during free agency). We are not going to be a floor team (of the NHL’s salary cap). We can’t be a floor team. We have to be in the middle to a top cap team to be able to thrive in Dallas.”
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.