The Dallas Stars had a great season last year, but the finger got pointed at the goaltenders for the early playoff exit. Well this year the disappointing start to the season has fingers being pointed in all directions, but the goaltending issue has not died down.
The Dallas Stars are one of the most talented/skilled teams in the league, but have suffered greatly from the lack of consistency and uncertainty of who is the number one goalie is or should be. Who would the Stars target if they could bring in a new goalie? Now let’s face facts, if the Stars could get a new goalie they would, but there are some almost impossible hurdles. The Stars have two goalies under contact until the 2017-2018 season. Kari Lehotonen is on the books for $5.9 million. Antti Niemi is on the books for $4.5 million. Contracts that many NHL teams would not be willing to take on in a trade. To make matters worse they both have no trade clauses. Although this does sound insurmountable, crazier things have happened. So, who should the Stars target to become their goaltending savior?
Mike Smith – Arizona Coyotes
Smith is a name that you will not hear a lot in trade market talk, but for a team such as Dallas he could be a real game changer. Smith has been a game changer for the Coyotes over the last few seasons despite their subpar rosters. He has shown the ability to handle a large work load, and the ability to handle a multitude of shots. However, Smith is 34 so he will not be a long-term solution for the Stars. It may be time for the Coyotes to let some of their young goalie prospects receive some quality NHL playing time.
Brian Elliott – Calgary Flames
This might not be the sexiest pick on the list, but Elliott is an option if the price is right. Elliott has faced an uphill battle ever since back up Chad Johnson took the starting role in Calgary
Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings
Much like Elliott, Howard is probably not the most attractive trade target on this list, but he is having a very solid season playing in 17 games and keeping a save percentage of over .930. However, Howard is a goalie late into his prime with a contract that is very tough to take on without a little bit of salary retention. This trade may make sense if Detroit is willing to take one of the Stars goalies back in return.
Jusse Saros – Nashville Predators
Saros could be the biggest high risk – high reward trade on this list. Saros has only played in 8 NHL games this season, but he has amassed a save percentage of .957 which is outstanding given the age of the young prospect. There could be a few problems with the situation, number one being that Nashville may just not simply want to give up the young goalie. let alone to a divisional opponent. Reason number two, the asking price would likely be extremely high..
Antti Raanta – New York Rangers
Raanta is a dark horse trade target. He has been playing for a Rangers team that has had a very solid history developing their back up goalies. He hasn’t played as often as he has liked which could make him itch for a trade and the chance to compete for a starting job.
Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay Lightning
Bishop is one of the more obvious choices for the Stars. He is one of the tallest goalies in NHL history, and he uses every inch he has with the style of net minding that he plays. He has struggled the past few seasons with injuries, but he has proven to be very consistent. One of the big reasons why Bishop could be moved is the fact that he is a UFA, and with Vasilevskiy signed to a long-term contract, Bishops time in Tampa looks very limited. The price for Bishop could be very high, signs show that the Lightning may just be willing to ride Bishop on a playoff run, and run the risk of losing him with no return.
Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins
Fleury could very well be at the end of his career with the Penguins. Fleury might be one of the most decorated goalies on this list, having two Stanley Cups to his name not to mention multiple All-Star game appearances. The Penguins will be very pressured to move Fleury by the expansion draft so they don’t have to run the risk of losing him for nothing, With the pressure of losing him for nothing the Stars may be able to get Fleury for a 2nd round pick or a prospect.