With a trade already completed earlier today, the Dallas Stars are continuing to look for help at the forward position. To do that, and with the addition of Ben Lovejoy today, Dallas may be ready to part ways with defenseman Julius Honka who has worn out his welcome, according to The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro (subscription required).
The team has lost faith in the play of both Honka and Connor Carrick, who both were considered inconsistent and with the fact that the team has shown they would give more minutes to Gavin Bayreuther and Joel Hanley, both currently in the NHL, moving Honka would make sense. The 23-year-old was a first-rounder in 2014 and was highly-touted before arriving to the NHL, but he has struggled adjusting to the NHL, especially with his confidence. Regardless, many teams might be willing to give up a scorer to get their hands on a project like Honka.
Shapiro writes that while the Stars have some room under the salary cap and could acquire a player who makes up to $2.05MM, the team has a number of players who could be placed on long-term injured reserve, which could open up close to $8MM in cap room if needed due to the injuries of Martin Hanzal, Stephen Johns and Tyler Pitlick.
While general manager Jim Nill said that there are seven or eight forwards the team is looking at, there is no word who those might be, although Shapiro believes that the New York Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello is near the top of Dallas’ list.
- The Chicago Blackhawks have made it clear to inquiring teams they have no intention of moving defenseman Erik Gustafsson, according to Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription required). The team has been impressed by his offensive skills as he has 43 points in 59 games this season. He’s also tied for second among all NHL defensemen with 11 primary assists in 5-on-5 play and tied for seventh among all defensemen with 20 primary assists in all strengths. However, the team is still trying to trade John Hayden, who has played less than 10 minutes in 17 of his last 19 games.
- Sticking with the Blackhawks, The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus writes that defenseman Brent Seabrook, who has been out since Feb. 16 with a abdominal strain, could potentially return Sunday. The 33-year-old still averages 19:47 in ATOI this year and has five goals and 23 points for Chicago this year. Marcus Kruger, who is out with a foot injury, remains day-to-day.