On the Dallas Stars …
Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: (mailbag) Think that Stars will buy out goaltender Antti Niemi and keep Kari Lehtonen.
They will then could look to sign a free agent goalie like Ben Bishop, Steve Mason or Scott Darling. Mason is interesting because he was with Ken Hitchcock in Columbus and with goalie coach Jeff Reese in Philadelphia.
Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo could be an interesting trade option for the Stars as Blue Jackets would have to leave him unprotected for the expansion draft. Getting Korpisalo may mean the Stars might have to buy out both goalies, which is something they don’t really want to do.
The Stars will likely draft the best player available when they pick in the first round. If picking in the 8 to 10 range, they are likely to draft an offensive player. [Heika] thinks they could draft a goalie in the second round.
On Kevin Shattenkirk …
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Washington Capitals defenseman and pending unrestricted free agent Kevin Shattenkirk recorded 14 points in 19 games for the Capitals during the regular season. He had an assist in Game 1 but has gone pointless in the two following games. Darren Dreger was on TSN 690 and was asked if his free agent value could be damaged by his play for the rest of the series?
“Maybe a little bit, but not a bunch,” considered Dreger. “I think that going into the NHL trade deadline, or around the deadline, most believed that he would be the coveted piece as far as unrestricted free agent defensemen are in the off-season. I don’t think a lot is going to change there.
“Look, I took a fair bit of heat when I wrote a story a couple of months ago talking about Shattenkirk and how he’s perceived to be a power play specialist. You can’t dispute the numbers that Shattenkirk puts up on the power play, but five-on-five he’s not great. He’s maybe better than okay, but he’s not great. And that’s the way it is.
“But that’s not going to stop any team that has interest in Shattenkirk from putting down a pretty big term and pretty big number when it comes to unrestricted free agency in July.”