One win shy of first place in the Central Division, the Dallas Stars could look at the trade market to bolster their defense this holiday season.

Here is my list of potential trade targets for GM Jim Nill and company.

TYSON BARRIE, Nashville Predators – Prior to becoming a member of the Nashville Predators, the right-shot defenseman suited up for the Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Edmonton Oilers. Recent reports indicate Barrie is unsatisfied in Nashville after comments made by Predators GM Barry Trotz. In fact, the RHD was scratched in three of the club’s last five games. He has yet to score in 23 games played this season. In 47 career games representing Nashville, the 32-year-old has 22 points. The veteran was acquired from Edmonton around the 2023 trade deadline in exchange for homegrown deefenseman, Mattias Ekholm. 

CHRIS TANEV, Calgary Flames – Tanev is a dependable, minute-chewing skater on the back end. Tanev won’t deliver points like a Barrie or a couple other defensemen on this list, but he will keep attackers away from Jake Oettinger’s net as well as block pucks with his body. In his last five games, the 33-year-old recorded 16 blocks. Tanev carries a $4.5 million cap hit so Jim Nill and co. will need to get creative pulling the trigger on a deal for the Ontario native. Evgeni Dadonov would be a viable trade piece. He has nine points in 22 games and his scoring touch has faded the past five games with one goal and two assists in his last five contests. His contract, which is set to expire next summer, comes with a $2.250 AAV cap hit. Changing scenery could rejuvenate Dadonov’s scoring touch as Calgary desperately needs offense. The Flames are 22nd in team scoring. 

PHILIP BROBERG, Edmonton Oilers – Much of the defensmen market seems be out of the Western Conference. Broberg, drafted eighth overall by the Oilers in 2019, was touted as a gifted two-way defender with “exceptional skating ability.” It seemed like the perfect draft selection given that Broberg was expected to hit his prime within the next couple of years. However, that marriage can end up in divorce soon. The Oilers reassigned the Swedish defenseman to Bakersfield Condors (AHL) on Thursday. A fresh start in Dallas could bolster this young man’s career trajectory as he’ll have the time to develop playing second or third-pairing minutes. On top of that, Broberg’s $863K cap hit is extremely friendly and gives Dallas space to move pieces around. 

ADAM BOQVIST, Columbus Blue Jackets – It was reported month ago that the Jackets were floating one of their blueliners on the open market. They could have changed their minds since then. Earlier this week, winger Eric Robinson was sent to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a conditional seventh round pick. Should Jim Nill make a move to acquire the eighth overall selection of the 2018 draft, it will most likely require giving up a critical piece or two. Boqvist is only 23-years-old and has yet to reach his potential. The right-handed skater can play on either side and, like Broberg, will be well-insulated within a deep blue line. And the cap hit of $2.6 million AAV is low enough to provide flexibility in a trade package. 

NOAH HANIFIN, Calgary Flames – This is a stretch. Getting one of the biggest names rumored to be on the trading block would take a lot of maneuvering. It might cost a NHL ready forward, NHL ready defenseman, highly skilled prospect, and first or second round draft pick(s) or some variation of such a package. Hanifin does allow a few things to happen. Veteran workhorse Ryan Suter could drop to the second or third line where he would then flank Jani Hakanpaa or Nils Lundqkist, respectively, while Hanifin joins Miro Heiskanen on the first pair. This would make, arguably, the best top pairing in the league.

Perhaps head coach Pete DeBoer places Hanifin on the second pairing on the right side, a familiar role for the current Flames defenseman. A move like that suits Esa Lindell, who is currently slotted on the left side in the middle pairing. The longest-tenured Stars defensman can then focus being a defensive stalwart, which is typically what the eighth-year blueliner favors. As mentioned, acquiring Hanifin is a stretch. The Stars currently have half a million in cap space and would very likely need to give up a NHLer who possesses a decent AAV along with decent prospects or picks. 

What are your thoughts? Do you think the Stars will add a piece on the back end? Or will the Stars run with who they have to avoid disrupting the chemistry across the forward lines? 

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