The Dallas Stars traded defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday for forward Travis Moen, a transaction involving two veteran players whose roles had diminished with their previous team.
Gonchar, who turns 41 in April, appeared in three games for the Stars this season and averaged slightly more than 13 minutes of ice time per game. He is in the final year of a contract with an average annual value of $5 million.
The trade frees up a significant amount of NHL salary-cap space in 2014-15 for the Stars, who could look to ease the burden being placed on their top-four defensemen by acquiring outside help.
"We're open to [another move]," Stars general manager Jim Nill said. "But my first thought process here, and [coach] Lindy [Ruff], sitting down with him and our management and coaching staff, is that we have to find out internally what we have first. That's what this trade allows us to do now. … We have some young defensemen coming up and they've earned the right for the opportunity. These are guys that have been playing the last two or three years, they won the Calder Cup. I needed to start opening up some doors and some opportunities for them."