Trade deadline day turned out to be a quiet one for the Dallas Stars. GM Jim Nill, who dealt forward Erik Cole to Detroit on Sunday, made no more deals before the deadline passed Monday at 2 p.m. Central Time.
“We didn’t have too much really going on,” Nill said. “There was a lot more kind of talk today, hockey trades, instead of just rentals and stuff. And you saw that around the league.
And there were no hockey deals to be made for the Stars.
“It was pretty quiet from us. Just talking to other teams, I kind of got a feel for what the lay of the land was and nothing really for us hockey wise,” Nill said. “We’ve got a bunch of real young kids, and we’re kind of in a different mode than a lot of teams are. A lot of the teams that did the hockey deals are teams that are definitely Stanley Cup contenders and are going for it, so those are the teams that kind of made those moves.”
One Dallas player in the rumor mill was forward Shawn Horcoff, a pending unrestricted free agent. But Horcoff stayed put.
“There was some talk from other teams and there ended up being no traction,” Nill said. “We’re happy to have Horc. He’s a veteran player for us. He’s good for the young guys. We’ve still got a big push we have to do here, and you need to have those type of players.”
For Horcoff, it was a day of waiting. He practiced with the Stars in Frisco Monday morning, came off the ice and said he would just wait and see what was going to happen.
“I’ve been through enough where obviously a little bit anxious because you just don’t know, but it is what it is. I’ll deal with it either way,” Horcoff said. “I think if I stay, I’ll be happy because I enjoy it here. My family’s here. We love it here. I believe in the team. I believe in the direction they’re going.”
Nill said with the deadline now history; it’s time for the Stars to move forward and focus on playing and winning games.
“They know now that this is the team for the next six weeks. Let’s get to work. Let’s go do it,” Nill said. “It’s a great opportunity for some of the younger guys. They want to make their mark in the league; it’s their chance. For some of the older guys that might not have contracts, it’s an opportunity to show what they have to do for next year to earn a contract.”
Stars recall Nemeth from Texas Stars
The Stars recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth from Texas of the AHL late Monday afternoon. Nemeth played five games with Texas, registering one assist. The Stars sent Nemeth to Texas to get playing time. Nemeth hadn’t played since Oct. 18, when he went out with an arm laceration.
Stars defensemen Trevor Daley and John Klingberg did not practice Monday. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said it was a maintenance day for both players.
Here were the forward lines in Monday’s practice:
Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Curtis McKenzie – Vernon Fiddler – Patrick Eaves
Colton Sceviour – Shawn Horcoff – Brett Ritchie
Looking to turn things around at home
The Stars have struggled at home this season. They are 1-4-3 in their past eight games at American Airlines Center and 12-13-8 on the season. So, coach Lindy Ruff is looking for solutions, and one thing he will try is a change of routine for Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders. Instead of holding the morning skate at the AAC, the Stars will skate at the team’s practice facility in Frisco.
“I don’t like our home record. In fact, I’m embarrassed with our home record,” Ruff said. “That needs to be better and I’m just going to change things up.”
Stars use paper transactions to make Ritchie, McKenzie eligible for AHL playoffs
The Stars assigned forwards Curtis McKenzie and Brett Ritchie to the Texas Stars of the AHL prior to the NHL trade deadline Monday. Those transactions put McKenzie and Ritchie on the Texas roster so they are eligible to play in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Stars recalled them to the NHL later in the day.
“It’s really more of a paper transaction, so that’s the move we had to make. It makes them eligible for the playoffs,” said Stars GM Jim Nill. “There’s what they call a clear day list. If they don’t go down today and be on that clear day list, they wouldn’t be eligible for the playoffs and as we learned last year, we had that great run in Texas last year, the playoffs are so important for these young kids’ development and we wanted to make sure that these young guys were on that list.”
Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who was on the Texas roster prior to the deadline, is eligible to play in the Calder Cup playoffs as well. The Stars decided not to do the paper transactions on defensemen John Klingberg and Jyrki Jokipakka, so those two are not eligible to play for Texas in the playoffs.
This story was not subject to the 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.