In this edition of Dallas Stars News & Rumors, Dallas pushes their way back into playoff contention, multiple new roster moves, and updates on the John Klingberg trade rumors.
Stars Right Back In The Playoff Hunt
It has been a successful run for Dallas following the NHL All-Star break. The Stars have gone 5-2-1, securing 11 of a possible 16 points. This run has boosted them into a tie for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Currently, Dallas is even with both the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers at 59 points. The Stars have played two fewer games than Anaheim but Edmonton holds the tiebreaker for Regulation/Overtime Wins (ROW).
“Stay in the fight, stay in the battle, and let’s keep pushing,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said following the recent overtime victory over Winnipeg. “We were playing really well the whole game and we were getting plenty of opportunities and plenty of shots, so just stay in the fight.”
That mindset is exactly how the Stars are approaching the remainder of the season. Over the past few years, Dallas has had one goal: make the playoffs. This means that they don’t care if they are the top seed of the last team in, they believe they are built to succeed in the playoffs. While it may be stressful for fans, they showed the potential during their impressive run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 and have the chance to prove it again this year.
“There’s a comfort in the uncomfortable we’ve been through if that makes sense,” Seguin said. “We’ve been a Cinderella team in different ways over the years and we’ve done this before. We also have guys in here who have been on the wrong side. The window, if you look at the first half, is really two wins, three wins, it’s that small. That’s definitely talked about right now.”
John Klingberg Trade Updates
As expected, the rumor mill surrounding John Klingberg’s future has continued to spin. As far as Dallas goes, no progress has been noted on any extensions going forward.
The latest reports feature two Stanley Cup contenders showing interest in the skilled defenseman. First, it was reported that the back-to-back defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning had reached out in regards to a potential rental. The trade makes sense for Tampa, who have their eyes set on a triple crown and Dallas will likely entertain all offers.
The second report claims that the Toronto Maple Leafs declined a trade offer from Dallas. According to Elliotte Friedman, the apparent offer was Klingberg heading to Toronto in return for a first-round pick. Toronto already lost a first-round pick when they picked up Nick Foligno from Columbus last season as has no intentions of parting with another.
Stars fans, keep this in mind. Dallas is all in right now. They truly believe they have a team that can make a deep run if they get into the playoffs. While a lot can change over the next few weeks, they are extremely unlikely to trade any key players if they remain within reach of a playoff berth.
It is also worth mentioning that Dallas may be planning to make some moves to re-sign Klingberg this summer. With a lot of potential changes coming after the season, they may be looking to keep him around moving forward.
Stars Make Multiple Roster Moves
Yesterday was a big day for roster moves in Dallas. First, the Stars claimed 23-year-old forward Marian Studenic off of waivers from the New Jersey Devils. Studenic has one goal in 17 games for New Jersey this season, spending the other half of his time with the Utica Devils in the American Hockey League. He has had a good season in the AHL, recording 10 points in 13 games for the Devils. Studenic will wear number 43 for the Stars.
Dallas also placed Tanner Kero on waivers to make room on the roster. He is expected to clear waivers.
The other two moves made featured a veteran along with a young prospect. Dallas recalled forward Riley Tufte from the AHL before last night’s game against Nashville. Tufte filled in for Joel Kiviranta on the fourth line, playing just 5:49 with no points (a large portion of the game featured special teams, keeping his ice time very low).
Veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera was also placed on long-term injured reserve due to a non-covid related illness. Sekera has not played since Jan. 28 against the Washington Capitals.
The Stars return home to face the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, Feb. 28. They have points in 11 of their last 15 games and are certainly trending in the right direction right now.
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!