Sergei Gonchar’s rights were acquired by the Dallas Stars on Friday for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, which is an interesting move on several fronts.
Gonchar, a pending UFA, was in talks with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL, and our own Dmitry Chesnokov reported there may have been a handshake agreement on contract terms, if not an actual contract.
But Gonchar, 39, had also stated a desire to play two more seasons in the NHL. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Stars are hoping to sign Gonchar to that term, seeing him as a No. 1 defenseman and a power-play specialist.
If he signs, the Sens get the pick.
For NHL defensemen in 2012-13, Gonchar was tied for fifth in assists (24) and shared 12th in points (27). He led Ottawa defensemen in scoring and ranked second on the team with 27 points.
Another aspect of signing Gonchar: He’s a good placeholder until the kids are ready to inherit the blue line. From Heika:
If the Stars can sign Gonchar, that could allow them to take a slow route on the development of young defensemen like Jamie Oleksiak, Kevin Connauton or Joe Morrow or it could allow them the ability to study possible trades for veterans such as Stephane Robidas or Trevor Daley.
Robidas has one more year at $3.3 million. Daley has four more years at $3.3 million; but that’s a contract given to him by the old regime.
If nothing else, this is a calling card from new GM Jim Nill that the Stars are open for business despite being in a bit of a transition – still needing a new coach, still going with younger players in the lineup.