Stars GM Jim Nill was on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central earlier today to discuss the Jason Spezza contract extension. During the interview, he also touched on the struggles his team has endured this season with a “very young” defensive corps.
Well, his team is slightly older on the back end now, because Nill has traded 24-year-old d-man Brenden Dillon to San Jose for 26-year-old blueliner Jason Demers.
From the Dallas Morning News:
Dallas already traded Sergei Gonchar to Montreal last week and lost Kevin Connauton to Columbus on waivers this week, so this makes the third defenseman to leave in the first two months of the season.
The Stars will lose some size in Dillon (6-4, 225), but will gain some puck movement skills and the ever elusive right-hand shot. Dallas called up John Klingberg six games ago and has been pleased with the work of the right-handed defenseman, who joined a group of all lefties.
In Demers, the Stars get a veteran with 300 NHL games on his résumé, plus 39 more in the playoffs.
“Jason is coming off his most productive season in the NHL and is just entering the prime of his career,” said Nill in a press release. “Organizationally, we were in the marketplace for a right-handed, two-way defenseman and he will help us tremendously in finding a balance on our blueline.”
Demers is signed through 2015-16 with a cap hit of $3.4 million, after which he can become an unrestricted free agent.
Dillon is a pending RFA with a cap hit of $1.25 million. Whether the “frustrating” negotiations that preceded his current contract had anything to do with the trade, that’s probably a fair thing to wonder. But Nill definitely wasn’t hinting at that in the release.
“We would like to thank Brenden Dillon for all of his contributions to this organization,” Nill said. “He is a tremendous young man and we wish him well in his career.”
Sharks GM Doug Wilson’s statements:
“Brenden is a well-rounded, physical player who brings an important ingredient to our existing group of defensemen. He was physically a late blooming player and we feel, at the age of 24, his game is continuing to trend upwards. He fits really well for our organization now and for the future.”
“Jason has been an important member of our organization for the last several years, we have tremendous respect for him and we wish him the best in Dallas.”