Stars owner: “I think we will be active in the trade deadline”

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.”

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