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Meet the Buyers: Trading for Chris Tanev would be a luxury for the Dallas Stars

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Photo credit:© Jerome Miron - USA Today
Brennan Delaney
23 days ago
Today’s team will be the second we look at from the Central Division.
This is Meet the Buyers, where we look at teams that are contenders for the Stanley Cup, and what they need to improve their chances. The Calgary Flames have two players – Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin – set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Moreover, the Flames could flip Andrei Kuzmenko or Yegor Sharangovich for a maximum return at this season’s deadline.
In this edition, we’ll take a look at the Dallas Stars, along with their needs, their assets, and the cap situation of both teams.

The needs of the Dallas Stars

Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff released an article featuring what each Western Conference team will do at the deadline back in mid-January. He noted that the Stars’ top objective is “less may be more,” because the Stars are such a well rounded team. Seravalii did note, however, that adding a right-shot defenceman would make sense if they need to add.
The Stars have a pretty deep team, especially with their forwards. According to Daily Faceoff’s line combinations, the Stars’ three pairings are: Thomas Harley and Miro Heiskanen as the first pairing, Esa Lindell and Jani Hakanpää as their second pairing, and Ryan Suter and Nils Lundkvist as their third pair.
At this point, if the Stars trade for a player, especially a right-shot defenceman such as Tanev, it would be considered a luxury. This season, Tanev has played 309.2 minutes against elites, or 41.3% of his ice time, with a 69.6% goal share, according to Woodmoney.
Hakanpää has played 254.8 minutes against elites, or 34.4% of ice time and has a 58.3% goal share. Lundkvist features less against elites, only playing 122.3 minutes, or 22.6% of his ice time and has a 50% goal share, according to Woodmoney.
Trading for Tanev isn’t needed by any means, but if the Stars want a third pairing defenceman to play against elites, that would make them one of the strongest defensive teams in the playoffs.

What assets do the Dallas Stars have to offer

The Stars are one of the few teams in this series that have a somewhat strong prospect pool. According to The Hockey Writers, the Stars have the 15th-best farm system in the league, one spot above the Vancouver Canucks, who the Flames have already traded with twice this season.
Their top five prospects according to The Hockey Writers are Logan Stankoven, Maverick Bourque, Lian Bichsel, Tristan Bertucci, and Aram Minnetian.
Stankoven is the best of the bunch, as the 20-year-old centre man has 20 goals and 50 points with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. He also helped Team Canada to two World Junior gold medals in 2022 and 2023, scoring seven goals and 21 points in 14 games between the two years.
Bourque is also a right-shot centre who plays with the Stars’ AHL team. The 22-year-old has 16 goals and 47 points in 39 games, matching his AHL career-high he set in 70 games in 2022-23. Bourque and Stankoven are the two most NHL-ready prospects in the Stars’ system.
Bichsel was selected with the 18th-overall pick in the 2022 draft and has played the majority of his NHL-career in Sweden. The left-shot defenceman started the 2023-24 season with the Stars’ AHL team scoring a goal and seven points in 16 games before heading back to Sweden. With Rögle BK in the Swedish Hockey League, the 19-year-old has a goal and two points in 17 games.
Bertucci was the Stars’ second-round pick in the 2023 draft. This season with the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League, the 18-year-old left-shot defenceman has four goals and 31 points in 43 games. Last season, he had 11 goals and 50 points in 63 games.
Minnetian was also picked in the 2023 draft, but in the fourth-round. The 18-year-old right-shot defenceman plays for Boston College where he has a goal and six points in 22 games this season, along with 25 penalty minutes.
As for their remaining draft picks, the Stars have both their first and second-round picks in the 2024 draft. They traded away their 2025 second-round pick, but still have their first-round pick for the year. In 2026, the Stars have all seven of their picks, according to Puckpedia.

The cap situation of both teams

As of the morning of Feb. 2, the Stars have $1,049,375 in current cap space according to Puckpedia, with no players on the long-term injured reserve. If the Stars do decide to make a move to bolster their defence depth, fitting a contract shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
It also helps that the Flames have all three of their retention spots available, meaning they can keep up to 50% of Tanev’s contract. Speaking of which, the 34-year-old has a cap hit of $4.5 million and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. With 50% retention, Tanev would have a $2.25 million cap hit, and if the Stars get another team to retain an additional 25%, Tanev would have a $1.125 million cap hit.

In conclusion

The Stars are well positioned to do damage in the playoffs this season. They already have one of the deepest forward cores in the league, and while they don’t need to make a move for a right-shot defenceman, acquiring a player like Tanev would only help to bolster an already strong defence core.
Realistically, it depends on what the Flames want for Tanev, but the Stars have the assets to beat most teams that wish to trade for him.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.

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