February 15, 2019 | 10:26am ET



Jim Nill, GM


The Dallas Stars fell to the first wildcard seed after a 6-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, and as the St. Louis Blues continue to surge up the standings, Dallas is looking for outside help to push them back into the top-three in the Central Division.

With limited salary cap space to play with, Stars GM Jim Nill may need to get creative if he wants to bring in a big fish ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

The Stars have been linked to the likes of New York Rangers forwards Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello, Columbus Blue Jackets star Artemi Panarin, and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds, but without at least one roster player going back the other way, Nill might not have the room to make such an add.

According to sources close to the organization, TFP has learned the Stars plan to be very active in free agency, where they’ll look to add at least one top-six forward – the team currently has more than $18 million in available cap space and this seasons $79.5 million salary cap figure is expected to increase.

But as far as this season’s concerned, Nill may be focused on trying to add a top-six winger with a smaller salary cap hit, such as Ottawa Senators winger Ryan Dzingel, Carolina Hurricanes forward Micheal Ferland or former Star and current Edmonton Oilers forward Alex Chiasson – all three are set to become unrestricted free agents July 1.