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Stars Quiet on Deadline Day

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

The NHL Trade Deadline passed at 2 pm (CT) on Wednesday, with the Stars not making any deals. The Hockey Operations team was busy manning the phones and keeping tabs on any and all possibilities, but in the end it was a quiet day for NHL transactions in Dallas.

The truth is, GM Joe Nieuwendyk and the Stars did make some moves, but they were all in advance of today’s deadline.

Nieuwendyk’s biggest move was made prior to the Olympic Break when he acquired goaltender Kari Lehtonen from Atlanta. Add that to the contract extension of Steve Ott on Monday and it eliminated a lot of the possibilities for last-minute deals to be made.

“We were listening to a lot of people but there wasn’t really anything realistic that we could get done,” Nieuwendyk said. “We would have loved to get a few draft picks, but this is what we expected for today. We believed we had made our deals already in getting Kari Lehtonen and signing Steve Ott.”

Nieuwendyk would have liked to get some more draft picks back for this coming June. Dallas currently has only a first, second, third and fifth round pick for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

But for now, the focus is on finishing the season strong and making a push for the playoffs. The Stars have 20 games left and are currently two points out of a playoff spot.

“It is going to be a battle every night going forward, and we have to be prepared for that and to play up to that level,” Nieuwendyk said. “We are prepared to move forward with our team. We believe in what we have here.”

Lehtonen to Play Soon
Stars head coach Marc Crawford said Wednesday that goalie Kari Lehtonen will start one of the next two games.

"It's a possibility, but I don't think it's a likelihood for tomorrow (vs. St. Louis)," Crawford said.

If that is the case, look for Lehtonen to make his Stars debut on Saturday at Pittsburgh.

Crawford mentioned that he likes what he sees from Lehtonen and his rebound control in practice.

"He's close (to being game-ready),” Crawford said. “He'll be fine when he comes back in, whether it's Thursday or Saturday, it's going to be one of those two."

Lehtonen hasn't played an NHL game since last April with Atlanta, spending much of this season recovering from two back surgeries. He said that he feels really good and is ready to play.

Turco to be Honored
The Stars will honor Marty Turco for 500 games played in a short ceremony prior to Thursday’s game vs. St. Louis. Turco’s family is expected to also participate in the ceremony.

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