The Dallas Stars have had their mix of big moves and quiet appearances at the NHL trade deadline. Let’s dive into the specifics of that history.
Stars Best Trade Deadline Deals
2008: Stars acquire Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Jussi Jokinen, Mike Smith, Jeff Halpern, and a fourth-round pick
This may not be a blockbuster but it is the best deadline deal that Dallas has ever made. Brad Richards was in his prime, coming off four straight seasons with over 70 points, including 91 in 2005-06. Richards was also a huge part of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup championship in 2004. Once he arrived in Dallas, he was exactly the player they were searching for.
He began his tenure by scoring 11 points in 12 games to finish the 2007-08 season. In the playoffs, he recorded 15 points in 18 games, helping Dallas reach Game 6 of the Western Conference Final before losing to the Detroit Red Wings. Although he would not make the playoffs again in Big D, he did have loads of success over the next three seasons, scoring 216 points in 208 games before moving on to the New York Rangers.
1998: Stars acquire Mike Keane, Brian Skrudland, and a 1998 or 1999 conditional sixth-round pick from the New York Rangers in exchange for Bob Errey, Todd Harvey, and a 1998 fourth-round pick
Another low-key deal that worked out for the Stars was acquiring Mike Keane. Keane was a key defensive forward that helped push Dallas into the elite two-way team they became in 1998-99. He, along with many other defensive forwards, helped the Stars to their first and only Stanley Cup, the third of Keane’s career. He added a bit of offense but mostly shut down the opponents’ top lines and provided experience and leadership throughout the playoff run.
Related: Dallas Stars Jersey History Ranked
Skrudland had a similar effect on the team, serving as a defensive forward while playing in 19 playoff games.
Stars Worst Trade Deadline Deals
2002: Stars acquire Jason Arnott, Randy McKay, and a first-round pick from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Jamie Langenbrunner and Joe Nieuwendyk.
Although Joe Nieuwendyk was slowing down at this point in his career and had already won the cup in Dallas, this trade did not work out well for the Stars. He and Langenbrunner went on to win another cup in 2003 with the Devils while Arnott was a productive player on a team that was unable to make it past the second round of the playoffs.
Langenbrunner ended up being the star of this trade, finding his groove in NJ and tying Scott Niedermayer for the most points during the 2003 run to the Final.
2011: Stars acquire Alex Goligoski from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for James Neal and Matt Niskanen.
James Neal took a bit of time but eventually found success in Pittsburgh, tallying 89 goals and 184 points over 199 games. He also added nearly a point-per-game during his first two playoff runs and was named a 2012 All-Star.
Niskanen took on a large role on the blue line among many injuries and provided a solid and responsible option for the Pens. He helped the team into the playoffs in all four seasons and was a team-best plus-33 in 2013-14.
Goligoski found some success in Dallas. During his five seasons, he hit his career-high of 42 points and helped the Stars score more goals during a mostly offensive era for the team under Lindy Ruff. Dallas made the playoffs in 2014 and 2015 but did not make it past the second round. This was one of those deals that could be named neutral but when compared to other years, fits into this category.
Last 5 Dallas Stars Trade Deadlines
2021: Stars sign Sami Vatanen off waivers from the New Jersey Devils
Vatanen had very little effect on an injured Stars team during the COVID-shortened season. He played in only nine games as Dallas missed the playoffs.
2020: Stars trade prospect Emil Djuse to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2020
The sixth-round pick landed Dallas goaltender Remi Poirier at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Poirier recently signed his entry-level contract after having success with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He currently leads the league in both goals-against average and save percentage.
2019: Stars acquire Mats Zuccarello from the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2019 conditional second-round pick and a 2020 conditional third-round pick and acquire Ben Lovejoy from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Connor Carrick, and a 2019 third-round pick. Dallas also acquired Jamie Oleksiak and Andrew Cogliano a few weeks before the deadline
This was certainly the loudest deadline for the Stars in some time. Adding Zuccarello, Lovejoy, Oleksiak, and Cogliano allowed them to have depth heading into an important playoff run for this team. Each player found success, although Zuccarello missed most of the regular season with an injury sustained in his first game.
Cogliano became a part of the infamous “F-C-C” checking line along with Radek Faksa and Blake Comeau that shut down the opponent’s tops players, Oleksiak was a much better player than his first stint in Dallas and became a huge part of their team in the future, Lovejoy provided depth on the blue line, and Zuccarello racked up 11 points in 13 playoff games as the Stars were one overtime goal away from the Western Conference Final.
2017: Stars acquire Dillon Heatherington from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Lauri Korpikoski. Stars also traded Jordie Benn, Patrick Eaves, and Johnny Oduya leading up to the deadline
None of these trades had much of an impact on the Stars. Heatherington never developed for them, and the three veterans were shipped away to make room for younger names to step in.
The trade deadline has been a bit quiet for Dallas over the last five years. Outside of the 2019 season, the Stars have mostly held their ground rather than selling or buying.
Sam Nestler is a credentialed Dallas Stars contributor for the ‘The Hockey Writers’. Growing up in New Jersey, Sam has been playing hockey since he was 7 years old. Developing a love for writing in college, Sam uses his hockey knowledge to create analyses and articles on every aspect of the game. Sam also hosts his own podcast on Spotify, the “Slapshot Sammy’ podcast, breaking down action across the Stars, the NHL, and college hockey. Check out the podcast here, and give his latest article a read!