Jim Nill continues to be a busy man as the new general manager of the Dallas Stars. Not even 24 hours after the ink had dried on Thursday’s blockbuster trade with Boston that netted Dallas centers Rich Peverley and Taylor Seguin, the Stars acquired veteran center Shawn Horcoff from Edmonton on Friday in exchange for young defenseman Philip Larsen and a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
“Shawn is a proven leader in this League and helps solidify our group at center,” stated Nill in a club-issued press release. “He’s a hard-working, two-way player that can contribute in all situations and our young players will be able to learn from his work ethic and example.”
Horcoff not only brings some great experience, with 12 years of NHL experience to his credit, to the Stars, but he also brings some good size at 6-1 and he also was a big part of the Oilers’ rock-solid penalty killing unit that was rated as the ninth most effective PK in the NHL last season.
The 34-year-old centerman had also been Edmonton’s captain since 2010 and along with being a former captain, the 2008 NHL All-Star also has 35 games of playoff experience, yet another reason why Nill pulled the trigger to add him to what is becoming an ever-changing Dallas locker room.
Larsen, 23, was a fifth-round pick of the Stars in 2008 and has played 95 games with the big club over the last four seasons. The Danish-born d-man made some big strides two seasons ago in the Stars’ first year under Glen Gulutzan. However, Larsen took some noticeable steps backward last season and went through a considerable stretch where he received little to no ice time under Gulutzan.
The change of scenery should benefit “Lars,” who was well-liked by fans, teammates and media alike. And heading to Edmonton, where he’ll be reunited with former Dallas teammate Mark Fistric, who was traded there in 2013, won’t be a bad thing for the young blueliner.
Officially, this is the third trade Nill has made since becoming Dallas’ new GM on April 29, just one day after Joe Nieuwendyk was relieved of his duties as GM. On June 7, the Stars acquired veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar from Ottawa and quickly inked him to a two-year deal.
Then came Thursday’s holiday blockbuster and Friday’s deal to acquire Horcoff. Not only does Dallas add another savvy veteran in the now former Oiler centerman, but it also adds more depth to the center position, something Nill said was a definite area of concern during a media conference call on Thursday to discuss the trade to acquire Peverley and Seguin from the Bruins.
But are the Stars done yet? It’s doubtful and if Nill does make at least one more trade, expect the next one to include a veteran defenseman, maybe Trevor Daley or Stephane Robidas as he continues to revamp the Dallas roster in a relatively short period of time.