Last season, I felt that the Dallas Stars built up a decent and consistent defensive unit. It contained a nice blend of youth and experience as well as a lot of physicality. Trevor Daley was an integral part of that unit and he had a great 2011/12 campaign.
Late in 2010, Daley was given a massive 6 year extension on his contract, worth $19.8 million. This emphasises how GM Joe Nieuwendyk knows that Trevor is a crucial player on the roster and that keeping him in Dallas for a long period of time was needed. Daley has over 500 appearances for the Stars, and the new contract was thoroughly deserved, as he has worked hard on his game over the years.
So, what does Trevor Daley bring to the Dallas Stars? He is a very athletic skater and provides good go-forward with the puck and provides his forwards with some good distribution, something he shows on the powerplay. He is also very durable, playing big minutes without picking up a lot of injuries.
Despite his high levels of athleticism and a good skating ability, Daley lacks size and therefore physicality on the ice. Last season, he was paired with veteran Nicklas Grossmann before he departed to join the Flyers. As Grossmann is a very physical defenseman, this made the pairing an effective one. With Grossmann now in Phillie, Daley could be given a fresh partner for next season. I would like to see him paired with Mark Fistric. Mark is a very big defenseman and will provide the physicality in the pairing whilst Daley provides the athleticism.
Daley is 28 and is in the prime years of his NHL career. With the experience he has, he will also act as a good mentor to the younger players on the roster. Both Adam Pardy and Philip Larsen are young and upcoming defenseman with the Stars, and they will look to players such as Daley for advice. The Stars also have their first pick from the 2011 draft, Jamie Oleksiak at their fingertips. The defensive unit is looking pretty good for years to come.
I am looking forward to seeing Trevor Daley in a Stars Jersey for a few more seasons. I think he is improving vastly year on year and I wish him the best of success for the 2012/13 campaign.