Get to know a possible Flames trade partner: the Dallas Stars

Photo credit:© Jerome Miron - USA Today
Nick Lacoste
1 month ago
Over the past few months, the online discourse surrounding the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames has recently reached a new level. Dallas’ biggest area of need as a “buyer” this season is help on defence. The Flames, consequently, have multiple defencemen including Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin on the trade block as they look to retool their roster and embody the “seller” identity this season. With the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline approaching, both teams are bound to be close on a special trade that could impact the legacy of each franchise.
This article serves as a Dallas Stars “trade bait menu”. I have provided a collection of players and assets that may be up for sale to acquire a premier Flames defenceman. I have been following the Stars and their prospects closely over the last 7 years and have consolidated my notes on roster players and prospects within Dallas’ system into mini bios to inform about the most attractive options for long-term Calgary Flames roster players.

Dallas roster player options

Ty Dellandrea: 23-year-old centre, “all gas no breaks” skater/forechecker, hard worker, offensive game needs polishing/finish, PK+ defensive game is strong for young player, having trouble on NHL face-offs so far.
Radek Faksa: $3.25 million cap hit, defensive centre having career analytical year, deployed to play defence and PK.
Sam Steel: Hard-working playmaking grinder, timely shooter who plays in all situations, best work is turning “bad pucks” into “good pucks” (e.g. battle in corner into net-front chance), previous offensive success in Minnesota top-six role.

Prospect options

Here is a dictionary defining each term used to describe Dallas’ prospects:
  • Ceiling = the role that the player could earn in a best-case scenario
  • Floor = the role that the player could end up with in a worst-case scenario
  • Playstyle comparables = current/former NHL players who embody similar hockey strengths/traits to the prospect of choice at this time (NOT projections of who the prospect may turn into)

Dallas Stars prospects

Logan Stankoven: One of the best prospects without a full-time NHL job. Motor always running, high-end individual offensive creator despite stature and lack of elite foot speed. High hockey IQ, surprisingly responsible on defence. Work ethic is second-to-none.
  • Ceiling: Top-line NHL star
  • Floor: Top-six winger
  • Playstyle comparables: Sebastian Aho, Travis Konecny
Mavrik Bourque: High-end playmaker with great passing vision, improved skating, underrated shot.
  • Ceiling: Top-line NHL talent
  • Floor: Middle-six winger
  • Playstyle comparable: Robert Thomas
Christian Kyrou: At his best with the puck, good mobility and stick skills, small frame. Modern, “4th Forward”, offensive-minded defenceman. Working on defensive game.
  • Ceiling: Top-pair, power play QB
  • Floor: Bottom pair
  • Playstyle comparables: John Klingberg, Erik Brannstrom (some junior highlights here)
Artem Grushnikov: Defence-first, space-closing, defensive defenceman. Little-to-no inclination to hold onto puck or provide individual offence, low-risk facilitator. Not overly physical, but can play “bully” in the defensive end if needed.
  • Ceiling: Top-4 shutdown D-man
  • Floor: AHL D-man
  • Playstyle comparables: Esa Lindell, Danny DeKeyser
Lian Bichsel: Physically-overpowering defensively-conscious defenceman, working on adding to offensive toolkit. Was pro-ready at a young age, shows up internationally and ‘under the lights.’
  • Ceiling: Top-pair two-way talent
  • Floor: Bottom-pair defensive defenceman
  • Playstyle comparables: Jamie Oleksiak, Nikita Zadorov, Brayden McNabb
Matej Blumel: Simple offensive forward, underrated shot, good energy and speed combination. Sometimes weak in battles, best in transition, power play, and other situations with time and space.
  • Ceiling: Middle-six forward
  • Floor: AHL Top-line talent (AHL All-Star)
  • Playstyle comparable: Danton Heinen

A note on Dallas’ first-round pick

Dallas rarely trades high picks at the trade deadline, with the most recent high-level deadlines being acquiring Max Domi last year and Mats Zuccarello in 2019. Jim Nill has never dealt a first-round pick at a NHL trade deadline in his tenure as Dallas’ GM.
In a realistic 2024 NHL trade deadline scenario, Dallas’ 2024 1st and 2024 2nd would likely be available in the right deal.

Dallas Stars trade bait menu order

In order of subjective potential value to the Calgary Flames:
  1. Logan Stankoven
  2. Mavrik Bourque
  3. Christian Kyrou
  4. Lian Bichsel
  5. 2024 1st Round Pick (likely late)
  6. Sam Steel
  7. 2024 2nd Round Pick (likely late)
  8. Ty Dellandrea
  9. Radek Faksa
  10. Matej Blumel
  11. Artem Grushnikov

Final thoughts

Overall, the Dallas Stars seem like an ideal trading partner for the Calgary Flames, especially with the quality of prospects/players that Dallas can offer to acquire one of Calgary’s defencemen. It will be interesting to see what a final deal turns out to be.
It would surprise me if Dallas does not acquire a Calgary Flames defenceman by the March 8 deadline, with a significant piece going Calgary’s way.
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