When Tyler Seguin got traded from the Boston Bruins to the Dallas Stars this summer, in exchange for a package of players that was led by longtime Star Loui Eriksson, it created a media maelstrom.
It’s not often that a young player with the pedigree of Seguin (drafted 2nd overall in 2010) gets traded, and combining that with Seguin’s controversial time in Boston it’s easy to see why so much attention was paid to the trade. Even now, months later, the trade is still the source of much discussion in hockey circles.
But while Seguin was center stage in the bright media spotlight, Rich Peverley, who was also acquired by the Stars at the time, was just off to the side, standing in the shadows.
Now, a quarter of the way through the season, Peverley is very much in the picture, playing an important role on a Stars team that is fighting its way through the embattled Western Conference.
What the 31 year-old Peverley brings to the Stars roster is incredibly valuable. Not because he does one or two things particularly well, but because he possesses a wide range of skills that make him one of the team’s most versatile players.
A reliable forward at both ends of the ice, he see ice time on the powerplay and the penalty kill, and has played up and down the Stars lineup, all the way up on the first line as well as in the bottom six. He’s even played multiple positions, shifting back and forth between right wing and center.
Offensively, his 10 points in 21 games are good enough for fifth on the team, scoring that has come up at various clutch times this season, including this overtime winner versus Detroit:
Defensively, Peverley is trusted by head coach Lindy Ruff in the dying minutes of games, and is often tasked with shutting down the top lines of opposing teams. His faceoff percentage on the season is a whopping 58.4%, making him reliable on the dot as well.
The fact that Peverley has been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in the last three years, winning the Cup with the Bruins in 2011, is icing on the cake, as that sort of playoff experience will come in very handy if the young Stars manage to climb into the playoff picture.
When the 21 year-old Seguin came to Dallas, he instantly became not only the number one center for the present, but the projected number one center for the future, an essential piece for the rebuilding Stars franchise. But while Peverley is older than the core of the team and is set to become a free agent at the end of 2015, experienced, versatile veterans can be valuable players to have around for rebuilds. If the Stars can keep Peverley for longer, and if the team returns to greatness in the future, then Seguin won’t be the only Stars player that gets talked about when discussing that franchise-changing trade.