When the Stars traded away Mark Fistric to the Edmonton Oilers, it had two very large effects on the defense.
First, it made room for some of the younger kids to play in Dallas, instead of spending more time in the AHL. So far, this has paid off fairly well, with Brenden Dillon and Jordie Benn proving that they can handle the responsibility. Dillion has been an absolute gem of a find up to this point, playing top minutes with Robidas, and leading the defense in goals scored (three). While Jordie Benn has not been given the same levels of responsibility, he has shown the ability to learn from his mistakes, without panicking and collapsing every single game. The errors will still be there, but the fact that he has the chance to play with some regularity is allowing him to grow at the NHL level.
The second effect that the trade of Fistric had on this team is that it meant that the Stars' defense could now be depleted very very quickly, should any injuries occur. While Oleksiak is waiting in the minors to be called up, beyond that there are no real reserves on defense. This meant that at any one point, the Stars defense could have up to two injuries on the roster, without getting into real trouble.
So what happens when the Stars have three injured D-men?
That's the question, as we get nearer to tonight's game against the Nashville Predators. As of right now, Carl Sneep has been called up to fill any holes on the roster, should Trevor Daley not be able to return from his injury. When Sneep was acquired back in January it was generally known that he would only be called up should the worst happen. He can generally be thought of as a career AHL guy. Someone that can help your team in the minors, but is lacking the skill or speed necessary to keep up at the NHL level.
Dallas' Depleted Defense Will Be Put To The Test
Defending Big D | Feb 25