Saturday, July 11, 2015

Texas Stars a Big Winner in Patrick Sharp Trade

Stephen Johns (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Last night, the Dallas Stars broke the news on Periscope (of all places) that they had acquired Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks. The vet winger has three Stanley Cups and was high on the wishlist of several teams this year. He was available due to the Blackhawks cap space issues. Initial reports last week had the Hawks asking for a first round pick, a top prospect and a top six forward still on his entry level deal. Jim Nill played the patience game and appears to have won yet another July trade.

The big news for Texas Stars fans in all of this is the second half of the trade return: defenseman Stephen Johns. Sharp and Johns joined the organization with Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt heading to the Windy City. If you'll remember, Stephen Johns played a great series against the Texas Stars in the first round of the playoffs, scoring the OT winner to eliminate Texas.

Even before that, the Stars media contingent had recognized that Johns was a special player. Sean Shapiro and I selected Johns for our all-rookie ballot. As explained here, Sean wrote why:
According to the league, Stephen Johns isn’t even the best rookie defenseman on his team. That would go to Ville Pokka (no, he’s not a bond villain working with Magnus Hellberg), who led all rookie defenseman with 30 points (8 goals, 22 assists).

We, of course, would disagree.

As an overall player, we were more impressed with Johns in both games at the Cedar Park Center. He also happens to lead the AHL in plus/minus at plus-27, no other rookie is in the top-15.

Johns also has 18 points (4 goals, 14 assists) in 45 games.

Johns had a goal and two assist in the three games against Texas. He played physically and is only a second-year AHLer this coming season. The addition of Johns does a lot to bolster a shaky defensive group in terms of experience, physicality and defensive defensemen. Here's a look at the current seven in Cedar Park now that Johns has been added (no logic to these pairings, just listing all seven):

Honka-Lindell
Backman-Johns
Mangene-Blacker
Bystrom

Folks have been pointing to Lindell and Honka as potential injury callups or 'cup of coffee' callups this year for Dallas. You can add Johns to that list now as well. I think you could put Johns in the mold of what Patrik Nemeth did for the Stars. Munch heavy minutes in tough situations and play really great PK for the squad. That was a gap on the roster until last night.


2 comments:

  1. Great acquisition I agree. One more goalie and things are looking up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good start. I still think we need some experience in some spots and a goaltender, but we will wait to see what shakes out the next couple of months.

    ReplyDelete

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