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Stars acquire Philly D-Man Therien

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

March 8, 2004

By J. Douglas Foster

Stars general manager Doug Armstrong knows not to mess with a good thing.

So with the NHL trade deadline less than 24 hours away, he had one condition when it came to acquiring a potential addition to this year's Stars team: He wanted just that, an addition, without a subtraction.

After all, why remove a player and risk affecting chemistry on a team that hasn't lost in its last nine games?

With that in mind, Armstrong did just that Monday, adding without subtracting when the Stars acquired defenseman Chris Therien from Philadelphia in exchange for two draft picks, an eighth round selection this summer and a third-round pick the following year.

Not only does Therien come without having to lose a current roster player, he also brings with him size, strength and reliability. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound defenseman has played in 56 games for Philadelphia this season, scoring one goal and dishing out nine assists with 50 penalty minutes. He is also on the right side of the plus-minus statistic with a rating of plus-2.

For his 706-game NHL career, Therien has 155 points and 549 penalty minutes. But most importantly, he has a career plus-minus rating of plus-133, and he has never been a minus player during any of his 10 seasons with the Flyers.

"He's a veteran guy who is just a real solid player," Stars head coach Dave Tippett said. "He's a real solid, stay-at-home defenseman who has good size, he will play physical and he will defend hard."

Tippett said there is no word yet where Therien will fit into the Stars' defensive corps, though he did said it won't be easy to break up the pairs who have been playing together lately.

"We'll address that as it comes along," Tippett said. "Our six have been very good."

Therien will give the Stars seven healthy defenseman as they await news on the potential return of John Erskine, who has been battling a bit of a stomach injury in recent weeks.

Therien, though obviously surprised by the move after playing his entire career with the Flyers, certainly saw the positives in the move for him. Unlike some players who get traded to less successful teams than the one they are currently on, Therien gets put in a very similar situation as he had in Philadelphia: With a team battling for a division title.

"I am excited," he said. "I'm going from a contender to a contender."

Therien flew to Dallas Monday night for a physical with the Stars' team doctors, so the earliest he would possibly join the team would be on Thursday in, of all places, Philadelphia when the Stars take on the Flyers.

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