The Stars mostly stood largely pat at the trade deadline despite a rumor early in the am that Jamie Oleksiak was about to be traded to the Oilers. This was a somewhat eyebrow-raising suggestion as Oleksiak seemingly has established himself as a solid partner for Miro Heiskanen on the second defensive pairing. However, the rumor turned out to be false, and the Stars instead picked up another Finn – Sami Vatanen off of waivers from the New Jersey Devils. This turned out to be the only move the Stars made on deadline day.
Vantanen isn’t the kind of player that will be making a game-changing difference should the Stars somehow make the playoffs, but at $2million AAV, on an expiring contract he makes a handy replacement piece. The Stars have noted that they want Thomas Harley playing significant minutes in the AHL, Anderj Sekera picked up a injury against the Preds, and Joel Hanley may return soon, but the blue line depth was looking a little thin.
It’s not surprising that the Stars made few moves, with Seguin and Bishop hopefully returning the line-up imminently and relatively thin pickings on the trade market, the chances of them making a substantial move were small. In other news, Taylor Hall seemingly forced a trade to Boston for practically nothing, and somehow Steve Yzerman managed to shake down the Caps for a king’s ransom for Anthony Mantha (Jakob Vrana, Richard Panik, a 1st and a 2nd). Mantha is a player the Stars won’t be sad to see leaving the division, given he has notched a point in 3 out of 4 games this season. Another player leaving the division is former Star Matthias Janmark, traded from the Blackhawks to the Golden Knights for a 2nd round pick, a handy bit of business for a player that signed as a free agent in the summer.
The Stars have less than a coin toss chance of making the playoffs but it’s hard to see what they could have done at this trade deadline to improve the team, given cap constraints and a limited amount of assets. However, as Jim Nill continues his quest to capture all of the Finns, the Finnish Mafia gains another member.
Photo:Charles Krupa | AP Photo