With the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche eliminated from playoff contention, what changes could be in the offing for both clubs this summer?
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports the Stars will face “hard evaluations” of veterans Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro, Steve Ott and Stephan Robidas, all of whom remain under contract next season. He also believes they’ll wait on making decisions regarding their pending UFAs (like Sheldon Souray and Radek Dvorak), depending on who they might sign this summer. Heika believes the Stars could make great offers to either Zach Parise or Ryan Suter if either guy tests this summer’s UFA market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the Stars want to pursue the best available talent this summer, but at the same time, don’t want to overspend on the wrong players and end up tying up too much money into players unable to justify those salaries. It does appear they could be serious bidders for Parise and Suter, who would definitely be the best players in this summer’s UFA market, provided they’re available by then.
As for Morrow, Ribeiro, Ott and Robidas, all but Robidas were frequently mentioned in trade rumors this season. It’s possible at least one of them could be on the move, especially if the Stars successfully land either Parise or Suter.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater recently responded to reader e-mail regarding possible moves by the Avalanche this summer. With RFAs like Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly and Erik Johnson to be re-signed, Dater believes the Avs payroll will go up next season, though by how much remains to be seen. He has no idea if the Avalanche might trade Paul Stastny, but doubts if the Avs could land a top ten pick for him. Dater also noted Stastny’s contract (two more years at $6.5 million per) would be tough to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing their key free agents is the top priority for Avs management. After that, they’ll have to seriously examine what players they can bring in to finally boost this promising club into playoff contention. Trading Stastny isn’t impossible, but his mediocre performance and high salary makes him very tough to move.