The Dallas Stars acquired winger Mats Zuccarello Saturday night and brought him to Dallas early Sunday. The team traded two conditional picks for the veteran winger, including a conditional third-round pick in 2020 that could turn into a first-rounder if Zuccarello re-signs with the Stars.
However, Zuccarello was non-committal when asked about his unrestricted free-agent status, according to The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro. The veteran said he isn’t thinking about it right now and his goal is to help the Stars get into the playoffs and beyond.
In other Western Conference notes:
- Zuccarello, who had a goal and an assist in his debut with Dallas, left Sunday’s game against Chicago with an upper-body injury. Zuccarello was hit in the arm or hand while blocking a shot by Chicago’s Ryan Murphy late in the second period (video link here). Forward Jamie Benn was also declared out with a lower-body injury as the Stars suddenly lost two key players in their newly enhanced lineup. No word on the severity of either injury.
- TSN’s Ryan Rishaug writes the Edmonton Oilers might still make a move at the deadline, with forward Alex Chiasson being the most viable trade chip. The Oilers would be looking for a pick and Rishaug believes if a team is willing to offer a third-rounder for Chiasson, Edmonton will pull the trigger. Chiasson has 17 goals and has been one of the few bright spots during a dismal season in Edmonton.
- Fox Sports Andy Strickland reports that Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington will become a Group 2 restricted free agent this summer once he hits 26 games this season. The standard number is 28 games, but Binnington signed his entry-level contract in the 2012-13 season, which had a reduced schedule due to the lockout. His number of games was reduced. The 25-year-old Binnington, who spent a good portion of his career in the AHL, has a 14-2-1 record to go with a 1.70 GAA and a .934 save percentage. He is in line to get a significant pay raise.
- The San Jose Sharks were without star defenseman Erik Karlsson on Sunday after he left Saturday’s game after re-tweaking his strained groin, which kept him out of nine games recently. There is no word on how long he will be out, according to Paul Gackle of the Mercury News. Head coach Peter DeBoer expressed optimism that it wouldn’t be long. Of course, DeBoer said the same thing when Karlsson first was injured, which could be worrying. “We have MRIs and those types of things, but you get put in spots, you can re-tweak, you can overextend it,” DeBoer said. “Everybody thinks it’s healthy and then you get hit a certain way. It’s a contact sport. You can’t control that stuff.”
By Holgen Stolzenberg