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February 24, 2017
With the NHL trade deadline approaching on Tuesday, the Anaheim Ducks struck a deal with the Dallas Stars for Patrick Eaves Friday.
Per a press release from the Stars announcing the deal, Dallas will receive a conditional second-round draft pick that could become a first-rounder in 2017 for Eaves.
The pick will become Anaheim’s first-round choice if the team reaches the Western Conference Finals and Eaves appears in at least half of the Ducks’ playoff games over the first two rounds.
The Ducks badly needed to add a scoring presence to their lineup. They rank 14th in power play percentage and 20th in goals per game, per NHL.com.
Corey Perry, in particular, has been a source of disappointment in Anaheim this season, with Mike Halford of Pro Hockey Talk offering these numbers in breaking down Perry’s struggles on February 9:
Perry has just nine goals through 55 games this year.
That’s put him on pace for 13, which would be his lowest total since breaking into the league a dozen years ago.
He’s had goalless droughts of 18 and 13 games already, and is currently mired in a six-game slump.
Eaves was one of the best trade chips on the market. The 32-year-old has already set a career high with 21 goals and 37 points, while his 16 assists are the second-highest total of his career. He also comes at the bargain price of $1 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Stars have been a mess this season, currently sitting in sixth place in the Central Division. They had no reason to keep Eaves on the roster with his contract and facing the possibility of paying a player over the age of 30 who is just now having the best year of his career.
The Ducks are paying a steep price with the pick, though, especially if the conditional pick ends up being a first-rounder, but they are currently tied with the Edmonton Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division and needed to do something to bolster their roster.