dallas stars announces a new ownership

The Stars are just days away from entering NHL free agency where they’re set to make some moves toward building a roster for the fall.

With six unrestricted free agents and another three restricted free agents, the Stars may not be able to retain them all and could have to look externally for certain pieces.Why the Dallas Stars Could Win it All - Defending Big D

Similarly to the trade deadline, the Stars will need to prioritize adding depth to the right side of their defense, especially since their only three right handed defensemen — Chris Tanev, Jani Hakanpää and Nils Lundkvist — are all free agents.

However, they could also use some added forward depth to account for the departures of Joe Pavelski and Ty Dellandrea.

Here are a few players the Stars could target during NHL free agency.

William Carrier, Vegas Golden Knights, F

The Stars have not been tied to many external candidates yet ahead of this year’s free agency period, but Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported they have expressed interest in forward William Carrier, who has spent almost his entire eight-year NHL career with the Golden Knights.

Carrier missed a large portion of the last regular season on long-term injured reserve with an upper body injury. He appeared in just 39 games and recorded eight points (six goals and two assists), but he played in all seven playoff games against the Stars and scored one goal.

He also scored two goals against Dallas in the 2023 playoffs and had a standout season in 2022-23, adding 16 more goals in the regular season.

With a cap hit of $1.4 million on his most recent contract, Carrier could be a solid option as Dallas seeks to add to its bottom six.

Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes, D

Pesce is a stretch for a number of reasons — from his price to the recent rumors that he will likely head to New Jersey.

But the Stars got arguably the best right-handed defenseman on the market at the trade deadline in Tanev, so they’ll at least have to consider the player in a similar role this time around.

Pesce has spent his entire nine-year career in Carolina but is ready for a fresh start. He’s a well-rounded defenseman that has penalty killing abilities. The 29-year-old played in 70 games for the Hurricanes this year, averaging 20:17 of ice time and was plus-10 while recording 13 points (three goals and 10 assists).

The Stars have expressed interest in Pesce before, though a move for him would likely only be possible if Tanev signed elsewhere, as his previous AAV was just over $4 million.

Alexandre Carrier, Nashville Predators, D

Carrier ($2.5 AAV) may be smaller in size at just 5-11 but he could be a strong depth piece for Dallas’ defense.

The Stars’ top two defensive pairings were outstanding throughout the second half of the season, as Thomas Harley paired with Miro Heiskanen and Tanev joined Esa Lindell. Ryan Suter remained on the left in the third pairing, as he likely will again this year, but Lundkvist, Alexander Petrovic and Hakanpää all rotated in that third spot. The Stars need someone they can rely on there.

Carrier held that role for Nashville this season where he recorded 20 points in 73 games. He is also a reliable shot blocker and could add some depth in the area the Stars need it most.

Sean Walker, Colorado Avalanche, D

Walker was the other name besides Tanev tied to the Stars at the trade deadline, but he brings some of the opposite qualities.

While Tanev is known for his sound defense, Walker is known for liking to join the attack. He set career highs for goals (10) and points (29) this season.

Like Tanev, Walker’s contract is expiring. He was a cheaper option at $2.65 AAV last contract. After a solid year split between Philadelphia and Colorado, he could be worth exploring once again.

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