After a disheartening exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs a week ago, Stars general manager Jim Nill was back at the office Monday making offseason plans. With the NHL salary cap expected to rise as high as 71 million for next season, many teams will find themselves with the ability to improve by spending money on free agents.
Heading into next season, the Dallas Stars have about 50 million dollars committed to 17 roster players. Therefore, if the salary cap rises as high as the projected 71 million, the Stars will have an ample 21 million to fill out the rest of their roster.
Antoine Roussel, Cody Eakin, Brenden Dillon, and Dustin Jeffrey are all restricted free agents for next year. You can count on the Stars resigning Dillon, Roussel, and Eakin, while Jeffrey will be studied long and hard to determine if an extension is warranted.
Roussel and Eakin are in for large raises after they made 612,500 and 572,778 last year, respectively. You can count on Roussel being re-signed for somewhere in the vicinity of 1-1.5 million a season, while Eakin is sure to demand something in the neighbourhood of 3-3.5 million per season.
Brenden Dillon earned every penny of his 743,333 dollar contract last season when he cemented himself as a cornerstone for the franchise. My guess for Brenden Dillon is a 4+ year long term, with the money being anywhere in the area of 4-5 million a season.
If the Dallas Stars are able to sign all these young pieces to the price tags mentioned above, their revised payroll would be around 60 million. That would leave them with an expected 10 million to use in free agency or trades this summer. Owner Tom Gagliardi has already mentioned many times, he wants to build a winner anyway possible. If Jim Nill decides he needs to pull the trigger on a big time trade or make a move in the free agency pool come July, he will have the resources necessary to do so.
Stay tuned for the follow-up articles regarding the Stars options in free agency and trades this coming summer.
Tell us who you would like to see the Dallas Stars target this offseason! Tweet us @BlackoutDallas or leave a comment below.
Happy Kentucky Derby day everybody!