Not that this should take away from the surprisingly horrible start by the local hockey franchise - 4-6-4 for a Western Conference worst 12 points - but Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill did finally undo a terrible wrong today.
The Dallas Stars, somehow despite all odds, traded veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar to the Canadiens in exchange for a travel guide to Montreal. That's not entirely true ... the Stars acquired winger Travis Moen in return.
Dealing Gonchar is not like the Dallas Mavericks ability to get rid of Raef LaFrentz's horrible contract many years ago, but dumping this salary was imperative and impressive.
This was all about getting rid of one bad contract for another.
Gonchar, 40, never did play like the Sergei the Stars desperately still seek - Sergei Zubov.
In two plus seasons with the Stars, Gonchar played in 79 games and scored two goals with 21 assists and was a minus-13. In his day, he was a very good D man. His day is gone. He agreed to wave his no-trade clause to get out of town.
Gonchar is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $4.6 million this season. The Stars reportedly agreed to pay a little less than 10 percent of his deal to the Canadiens.
It's not as if the Stars are picking up a big ticket player in return. Moen is 32, and is now with his fifth NHL team since 2003. He has no points this season in 10 games, and has another year on his contract that will pay him $1.8 million.
Of the many moves Nill has made since he took over as GM of the Stars, the one ingredient he can't find is a top two defenseman, like a Sergei Zubov.
From 1996 to 2009, Zubov was one of the best players in the NHL, and one of the bigger reasons the Stars were so successful for so long. He was truly one of the most amazing players to come through Dallas-Fort Worth, only nobody knew it.
Finding a top defenseman these days is akin to finding top starting pitching - you just keep adding them until one hits. The Stars continue to rely on Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski as their top D men, but neither was Sergei.
Neither was Gonchar.
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