The Big Mac Blog

Stars’ trade does not solve their problem

Since coming to the Dallas Stars from the Detroit Red Wings, GM Jim Nill (center) has “won the offseason” with splashy moves.
Since coming to the Dallas Stars from the Detroit Red Wings, GM Jim Nill (center) has “won the offseason” with splashy moves. Star-Telegram

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill once again aced another July with the biggest, splashiest, sexiest move of the NHL’s offseason. No one slays a summer better than the Stars. First it was Tyler Seguin, then it was Jason Spezza, and now it’s Patrick Sharp.

As far as winter and spring, well … who cares, right? Better to win a July and an Art Ross Trophy than nothing at all.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I continually have downed and sold Dallas Stars’ Disappointment Flavored Kool Aid for forever, and I’ve had it.

The recent acquisitions of forward Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks and defenseman prospect Stephen Johns does nothing for me. That the team unloaded over-valued defenseman Trevor Daley was long over due, and losing forward a glue guy like Ryan Garbutt does hurt.

The name in this deal is Sharp, but for the Stars’ to win this trade outright Johns has to hit. He has to be a prospect that is a real NHL player for the Stars.

The difference of the Stars making and missing the playoffs is not Patrick Sharp. The Stars don’t need forwards – they need defensemen that “get it”, and they need forwards that defend. This trade does not guarantee the Stars’ return to the playoffs.

On 105.3 The Fan on Monday morning, I asked former NHL All-Star and current NBC NHL analyst Jeremy Roenick if he thought these moves would put the Stars into the playoffs, or it’s going to be the same thing where they are on the edge in the final week of the season.

“In seeing their defensive liabilities its gong to be nip and tuck,” Roenick said. “Until they address those situations that have hampered them, they are going to struggle to win games. No matter how good their offense is. The league is so good with so much offensive power and ability you can’t just rely on offense. It’s going to be nip and tuck until the end of the season.”

The Stars ranked second in the NHL in scoring last season – 3.13 goals per game. Adding Sharp gives the Stars the deepest top two lines in the NHL; that GPG could actually increase.

The team allowed 3.13 goals per game last season, which tied for fourth-worst in the NHL.

Some of that is on goalie Kari Lehtonen, but a great portion of that is on a blue line that is weak on the puck, and a group of forwards that is not committed to the two-way game.

If the Stars don’t clean up their own possessions, and are not strong in their own end, adding Patrick Sharp will not matter.

Until this team defends, it’s going to be the same thing.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @macengelprof

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