One emailer thought it was the worst loss of the season. I don't know about that, but it certainly wasn't a good way to start the stretch drive for a team that is trying to claw its way into the postseason. Dallas is two points out of eighth place, sitting at 10th in the conference. Anaheim and St. Louis, Dallas' opponent on Thursday, are one point behind.
Does last night make you think Nieuwendyk should do something? The Stars are right at their internal budget now, so to do any deal, they'd need to make the money work. That isn't necessarily easy to do. Could they trade Mike Ribeiro or James Neal? They could, especially if good, young defensemen were dangled in front of them. But it has to be the right deal. And I'm not particularly interested in trading Neal, but if they want to get something, they'll have to give something up.
Nieuwendyk is identifying his core group. I think Brad Richards is in that group and the Stars want to re-sign him before his contract expires next summer (after the 2010-11 season). But what if a deal can't get done? Do you risk trading Ribeiro and not having either player on the roster after next season? Maybe that's worth the risk. But those are questions Nieuwendyk and his staff are asking today.
I will say that I like Nieuwendyk's approach. Find those players you want as a big part of your future -- like Steve Ott, Stephane Robidas, Jamie Benn, Brad Richards (among others) -- and build around them. It will take time because of the limited financial resources, but that's the right plan. So if Nieuwendyk can do something today that helps that, he will. If not, I think he stands pat and sees if this group can make a push.
Remember: You can't judge the rest of the season by one game. Neither can Nieuwendyk. It's clear this team needs help defensively, but it has to be the right help. I don't know if that type of deal is out there.
What do you think Nieuwendyk should do?