Sensing that they were slipping out of the playoff race, the Dallas Stars moved a veteran playmaking centre to the Vancouver Canucks, who sorely need the secondary offensive source.
Numbers Game looks at the Canucks' deal for Derek Roy.
The Canucks Get: C Derek Roy.
Roy, 29, is a playmaking centre whose offensive production has started to decline in recent seasons, not so coincidentally it seems since he missed the final 46 games of the 2010-2011 season after requiring surgery on his quadriceps tendon.
During the preceding five-year stretch, Roy had scored 318 points in 350 games; his 0.91 points per game ranking 32nd in the league over that time (minimum 200 games played).
Since then, Roy has 66 points in 110 games, including four goals and 22 points in 30 games this season. While his own shooting percentage (6.2%) is a career-low, his linemates have been more effective, as his on-ice shooting percentage (10.31%, 5-on-5 per www.behindthenet.ca) is second-best among Stars forwards.
What does stand out, in some respects, is that Roy started a lot of shifts in the defensive zone, faced a higher-calibre of competition and still generated a positive shot differential with the Stars, so he was moving the puck the right way, even if his point total hasn't been up to his previous standards.
In Vancouver, Roy moves into a gaping hole on the second line, at least as long as Ryan Kesler remains sidelined. Even once Kesler returns, Roy can figure in a prominent offensive role, boosting the productivity of Canucks wingers Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen, the supporting cast behind the Sedins in the Vancouver offence.
That Roy handled a higher proportion of defensive zone starts in Dallas this year probably held some appeal for the Canucks, since Vancouver has notoriously given the Sedins that majority of starts in the offensive zone when possible. Having a centre capable of handling shifts that start in the defensive zone, particularly with Kesler sidelined, was a priority for a playoff team.
Roy, who comes at a $4-million cap hit this season, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
The Stars Get: D Kevin Connauton and a second-round pick.
Connauton is a 23-year-old who is wrapping up his third AHL season, posting seven goals, 18 assists and a minus-12 rating in 60 games for the Chicago Wolves. He moves the puck well, has decent size and has played better the last couple months, registering five goals and 11 assists, with an even rating in the last 24 games.
The second-round pick offers some value. A mid-to-late second-rounder nets nearly a 30% chance of landing an NHL player. Combined with the potential for Connauton to make the Stars at some point, there is a decent chance that they will have some long-term value to show for dealing Roy.
While this season hasn't quite played out as the Stars had hoped, they have moved decisively to shed veterans and that will allow them to test their young talent. For example, Dealing Roy opens up additional playing time for a young player like Cody Eakin, a 21-year-old who has 19 points in 31 games while playing a modest 14:33 per game.
There was little chance that Roy, in the last year of his deal, was going to be part of the long-term solution in Dallas and now the Stars can look to the future with a younger core.
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.