Marc Methot is excited to be a Dallas Star. That was evident during his conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the Stars acquired him from the Vegas Golden Knights for goaltending prospect Dylan Ferguson and a second-round pick in 2020.
"You know what? I love it. I love the opportunity," Methot said. "I love the idea of playing down in Texas, and I am excited about it."
A lot less exciting was the road Methot had to travel to get to Dallas and the Stars. Expansion created a lot of buzz and excitement around the NHL, but it was a miserable experience for Methot. A week ago he was a member of the Ottawa Senators, unprotected in the pending expansion draft. On Wednesday, he was one of 30 players Vegas selected in the expansion draft. And then over the next five days, he was in limbo, waiting to see if the Knights, who needed to shed some of the surplus defensemen they had selected, would deal him to yet another team.
"It was tough, not only for myself but obviously for my pregnant fiancée. It was really difficult because I think the unknown aspect of it all was the worst part," Methot said. "I think not knowing where we were going to end up and the uncertainty of all that was tough."
Also tough was being put on the spot. There were teams interested in him that he had on his ten-team no-trade list. But that was part of the process as he tried to steer himself towards a preferred destination and Dallas was high on the list.
"I hate turning down teams. It's a position that I never would've imagined having to do maybe ten years ago, but I've worked hard for that to have that in my contract," he said. "And it allowed me to guide myself more to where I was hoping I would land. In my honest opinion here, I'm very fortunate I ended up in Dallas."
It's a new team for the 32-year-old veteran defenseman, but there is a certain comfort level as he comes to Dallas. He knows some of the players, including Jason Spezza, whom he played with in Ottawa.
"With Spezz there, it is huge," Methot said. "He's going to help me transition over there. Not only myself but my family. He's been around the league long enough to know all the good advice."
And he played under Stars coach Ken Hitchcock in Columbus.
"I know that he's a very structured coach and he can be very demanding, which is a good thing. And he gets it. He's been around for so long now that he's very confident in what he's delivering," Methot said. "A guy that I've enjoyed playing for. I've got all the confidence in the world in Hitch."
The Stars are confident that Methot, a defensive defenseman, will be a boost to the team's blue line. He'll supply a veteran presence to a Stars defense that will feature a lot of young players. At 6-3, 220 pounds, he'll bring size and physical play. Methot, a left-handed shot, was Erik Karlsson's partner in Ottawa, so he could be a good fit with one of the Stars' right-handed offensive-leaning players on the backend like a John Klingberg or Julius Honka.
"I think for me 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. But at the same time that doesn't mean that your partner can just skate around all over the place at free will. I think as a tandem you have to be fairly good in your end. For me at this point, I'm going to be welcoming whoever I play with. I want to do whatever it takes to just help the team win games. It's a challenge that I'm seriously looking forward to."
And Methot said he believes the Stars are poised to win, which is another reason he is excited about the trade to Dallas.
"They have a good team. The first thing I looked at - not like I have any control over it like I am a free agent trying to land somewhere - (was) having a good hockey team," Methot said. "I know it was a tougher season last year, but they've got a really good core of players there, and I'm sure they just needed a few tweaks. I'm hoping I can be a major contributor there.
"For sure for me being able to play on that team, it's a good team. You don't want to go to a losing team. You want to go somewhere where you know you're going to win games. Life is more fun and enjoyable when you're winning hockey games. That's something that I'm going to be very focused on."
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.