Dallas Stars defenseman Marc Methot didn't think he'd have to uproot his life after the 2016-17 season.
Methot, 32, had just completed the second season of a four-year contract with the Ottawa Senators, who had reached the Eastern Conference Final, and he felt he was playing some of the best hockey of 11-season NHL career while Erik Karlsson's defense partner.
But Methot was left exposed in the NHL Expansion Draft and was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights on June 21. He then spent five days in limbo as Vegas tried to trade him.
"It was tough, not only for myself but for my pregnant fiancée [Ellie Campbell]," Methot said during a conference call Tuesday. "I think the unknown aspect of it all was the worst part. Not knowing where we were going to end up and the uncertainty of all that was tough."
Methot was traded to the Stars for a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and goalie prospect Dylan Ferguson on Monday.
The Stars were a preferred choice for Methot, who had some control in his future because of a 10-team no-trade clause in his contract.
"There were teams that were inquiring, teams that I had on my no-trade list," he said. "I hate turning down teams. It's a position that I would have never imagined having to do maybe 10 years ago. But I've worked hard to have that in my contract. It allowed me to guide myself more to where I wanted to land and in my honest opinion I'm very fortunate to be in that spot."
Methot is stepping into a familiar situation in Dallas. He was teammates with Jason Spezza in Ottawa for two seasons, and he played for coach Ken Hitchcock from 2006-10 with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Video: Marc Methot on heading to the Dallas Stars
"I know that he's a very structured coach, and he can be very demanding, which is a good thing," Methot said. "And he gets it. He's been around for so long now that he's very confident in what he's delivering."
General manager Jim Nill has made a push to improve the Stars' defense since the season ended. They allowed 260 goals last season, second-most in the League behind the Colorado Avalanche (276), one reason they missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs by 15 points one season after having the most points in the Western Conference.
Hitchcock was hired because of his attention to defensive details, and the goaltending was improved when Ben Bishop was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings on May 9 and then signed to a six-year contract.
Adding Methot is another step in that effort. The Stars have three young right-handed offensive-minded defensemen in John Klingberg (24), Julius Honka (21), and Stephen Johns (25) that could pair well with a veteran left-handed shot like Methot.
"I complement well an offensive-minded player," Methot said. "It allows whoever I'm playing with to roam around a little bit more and take more opportunities offensively. At the same time that doesn't mean your partner can skate around all over the place at free will. I think you still as a tandem have to be fairly good in your own end."
Methot is confident the Stars' struggles last season are behind them.
"They've got a really good core of players there," he said. "I'm sure they just needed a few tweaks and I'm hoping I can be a major contributor there."
Video: Are the Stars poised to become Cup contenders?