With the NHL trade deadline a little over a month away, an intense focus will be placed on the potential comings and goings around the league. One way possible interest is “tracked” is through looking at whose scouts tend to be in buildings of other teams a lot around this time of year.
The Capitals, who have interest in adding a veteran goaltender and upgrading their forward depth with TJ Oshie and Anthony Mantha out, had a scout at the last three Dallas Stars home games.
The info is courtesy of The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf, who tweets out which team’s scouts show up to watch the Stars play in Dallas.
Scouts in the house tonight for Stars-Preds at the AAC:
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) February 10, 2022
Scouts in the house tonight for Stars-Jets at the AAC:
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) February 12, 2022
Scouts in the house today for Stars-Avs at the AAC:
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) February 13, 2022
It is important to note that the Capitals still have one more meeting with the Stars left this season — a March 20 homecoming game for Braden Holtby — and the scouting could be for preparing the team for that day. It could also be for scouting the other teams — the Predators, Jets, and Avalanche — and their players too.
But, if the Capitals are interested in making a deal with Dallas, who on the Stars could fit the criteria of player that the Capitals are looking for?
The first is Holtby. Since surrendering five goals to the Caps on January 28, Holtby has only started once since — a 4-0 loss to Colorado on February 13. Young star Jake Oettinger has been handed the reins as the team’s number one starter. An unrestricted free agent at season’s end, Holtby has a .912 save percentage but has allowed 1.4 more goals than expected according to MoneyPuck.
From a forward perspective, the Capitals could be setting their sights on Joe Pavelski and/or Alexander Radulov. Both are offensively gifted forwards who are unrestricted free agents after this season. Pavelski, in particular, will be a big name for many teams at this year’s deadline. The 37-year-old has heaps of playoff experience, plays both the center and wing position, and is a lethal power play weapon from the slot with his insane ability to tip pucks. He leads the Stars in scoring this season with 52 points from 47 games.
Then there’s defenseman John Klingberg. Klingberg requested a trade out of Dallas in early January after contract extension negotiations came to an impasse. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported soon after that the Stars have stepped up their efforts to trade Klingberg and that an eventual move is expected. While it seems unlikely the Capitals are interested, it’s always worth doing due diligence.
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