Speculation: Trevor Daley?

After three posts this off season speculating on possible forwards (SpezzaCarter, and Weiss) that Scott Howson could trade for, it's high time we considered a defenseman - especially with the team's need for a puck mover and the log jam of "shutdown" guys on the blue line.

After all the talk about Kevin Bieksa, and the fact that he's likely to become the next big circus after Tomas Kaberle ended up staying put in Toronto, I started to wonder if perhaps Howson might look elsewhere. After all, some of his most impressive moves have come from a player with little to no buzz during the off season who suddenly became a Jacket. (Jan Hedja, Anton Stralman, etx.)

Keeping that in mind, Trevor Daley, currently with the Dallas Stars, is a startlingly good fit. 

  • Daley is 26. That puts him right in the age of "experienced young contributors" that Howson tends to look for in his trade deals. 
  • Daley (along with about half of Dallas' current NHL blue liners) is a UFA next year. With Dallas' ownership situation still in the air, Howson could offer the Stars some continuity without having to take on heavy salary.
  • Daley's cap hit is only $2.3 million, compared to $3.75 for Bieksa. That's $1.4 million that could well go towards a potential Jake Voracek or Steve Mason extension.
  • Daley is considered "somewhat undersized" (5'7", 207lb.), but an outstandingly mobile and durable puck mover who has been praised for his dedication and work ethic. Sounds quite a lot like Kris Russell - being able to use them to provide mobility on the top pairs while a Mike Commodore, Jan Hejda, or Rusty Klesla provided the hard hitting defensive hammer would be a thing of beauty.
  • In his first 5 full NHL seasons he's never played less than 74 games. With the frequent injury issues on the Columbus blue line, having that kind of a steady presence could do wonders.

But, you may ask, how does Daley compare to the aforementioned Bieksa? Funny you should ask.


Player

Team

Pos

GP

G

A

P

+/-

PIM

PP

SH

GW

OT

S

S%

TOI/G

Sft/G

FO%

Trevor Daley

DAL

D

77

6

16

22

3

25

2

0

2

0

107

5.6

22:11

28.1

0.0

Kevin Bieksa

VAN

D

55

3

19

22

-5

85

1

0

0

0

95

3.2

21:49

25.1

0.0

More games, equal production, better +/-, and less PIMs? Where, exactly, do I sign up?

The other obvious question is if Dallas would be willing to move Daley - unlike situations like some of the other players we've looked at this off season, there's no reason to think Daley wants out of town, and Dallas is well under the salary cap, so there's no big pressure there. On the other hand, Dallas is in the process of being sold, and rumors abound that once the deal is complete, they want to get Brad Richards inked to a new deal (not to mention a new deal for Jamie Benn, and still unresolved RFAs James Neal, Matt Niskanen, and Nicklas Grossman) - that means all that cap room could be going away very quickly once the new owner is in place.

If Scott Howson is serious about adding another puck mover, and he's willing to offer the Stars a package that meets their needs, I think he could do a lot worse than Trevor Daley. 

But don't just take my word for it - what do you think?

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