Trevor Daley joined the Dallas Stars literally one day after I did.
Drafted in the second round by the Stars in the 2002 NHL draft, I was hired as PR guy just 24 hours earlier. In my 10 years with the team, I worked with some true pros in every sense of the word. Many equaled Daley in professionalism, integrity and effort, but no one surpassed him. He is an incredible human being.
I will miss Dales on this team, as all Stars fans will (and should). But that’s the reality of sports – time moves on, as do players and coaches. The Chicago Blackhawks just added a very good defenseman, and a heck of a teammate.
Stars GM Jim Nill announced the deal on Friday night – Daley is headed to Chicago with Ryan Garbutt in exchange for winger Patrick Sharp and young defenseman Stephen Johns.
Adding a seasoned veteran like Sharp is a huge get for Nill; he won three Stanley Cups in Chicago.
“You can never have enough of those guys in your organization,” Nill said. “He’s done it at every level. You’re talking first of all Stanley Cup, the ultimate championship. You’re talking World Championship. You’re talking Olympics. The experience that he can bring to the dressing room; we’re a young core. He’s going to be there to help Jamie Benn, to help Seguin, to help give them insight into situations. We want to get to the level of Chicago and anytime you can add those type of players to your organization, you can’t have enough of them. I came from an organization in Detroit, that’s how we were built also and that’s where we’re trying to get here in Dallas.”
Do we really need to know anything more about why Nill has made the moves he has?
Yes. Yes, we do.
A lot of people look at this deal and scratch their heads. Why would we give up one of our best defenseman when it remains our biggest position of need? The answer may lie in looking past Sharp and at the other player coming to Dallas in the deal.
Johns was a huge part of this trade; you’ve just haven’t heard of him yet. He plays hard, has a 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, and can skate. You’ll be sure to notice Johns on the back end, using his size and strength to pound on the opposition. Add Johns to Patrik Nemeth, John Klingberg and Jamie Oleksiak, and the Stars have a good, young core for their blue line, something they are counting on for the future.
Defense is the hardest position to obtain in this league. At least good ones. Chicago won three Cups recently; a big reason was due to the fact that Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith were manning the blue line for the Hawks. And, of course, having veterans like Sharp supporting Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane up front.
Think Mike Keane with this move. That’s the kind of leadership and veteran savvy that the Stars are gaining. Click here to see the classy move Mr. Sharp did over the weekend. Sharp really rounds out a solid top-six forwards with Benn, Seguin, Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky and Valeri Nichushkin. Yes, the back end takes a hit but I agree with what Nill is really saying – the young guys are ready; let’s run with this.
It’s the tough thing about sports – sooner or later we have to say good bye to great people and great teammates. Daley is both. It’s time to usher in a new era on the blue line for Dallas but he will be missed. Daley never won a Stanley Cup in Dallas but he gave his all while he was here and was very active in the community.
Trevor Daley’s tenure as a Star is over but he will always be remembered as part of the family. True pros always are.