Nieuwendyk must ponder all of his available trade options
“Sell, Joe, sell.’’
To be fair to Nieuwendyk, he didn’t always have choices in past seasons. Brad Richards had a no-trade clause and was hurt. Nieuwendyk didn’t like the offers for Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro at the time. He dealt Nicklas Grossmann to add a second- and third-round draft pick last year. Eventually, he moved Ott and Ribeiro and Grossmann and Mark Fistric, so he definitely got something in return. But could he have received more if he would have unloaded Mike Modano in 2009 or 2010? Could he have parlayed Richards into a big return had he started earlier and pushed harder for that move? Could he have gotten something for Sheldon Souray or added a bevy of picks by dealing Adam Burish or Tom Wandell or Vern Fiddler or Stephane Robidas?
Did he miss the boat on some potential deals?
It’s fair to ask those questions.
This time, it seems the decision has been made for Nieuwendyk. The Stars are 16-16-3, good for 35 points. They likely need to get 54 points just to be in the mix for eighth place in the West. If they went 9-3-1 in the final 13 games, they would get exactly 54 points. The problem is they don’t have that winning streak written anywhere on them. Even if the team is fully healthy and playing its best, there’s a real chance it can’t play at that level.
So armed with that information, Nieuwendyk must ponder trades for Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy and Eric Nystrom (who can each become an unrestricted free agent in the summer), and he might even have to listen to offers for Stephane Robidas. In fact, he needs to listen to every offer, because you don’t know what might be out there. Would Ottawa give up Plano native Stefan Noesen? Would Detroit part with Calle Jankrok or Riley Sheahan? Would Chicago let you have Brandon Pirri or Mark McNeill?
Many thought that defenseman Joe Morrow was too much to ask for in a trade from Pittsburgh, but the Stars got him.
And now that we have seen glimpses of what Cody Eakin and Brenden Dillon and Reilly Smith can do going forward, the reality that prospects can really help this team starts to grow.
Would you trade one year of Jaromir Jagr for 10 years of Cody Eakin? I think you would right now. Would you swap one year of Stephane Robidas for 10 years of Joe Morrow? Yeah, sure.
Now, every prospect won’t turn out, but it’s an interesting test to see if the Stars can find players who make deals like that seem like no-brainers.
And it’s something Nieuwendyk has to consider.