Dec 17, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin (20) and left wing Antoine Roussel (21) and defenseman Brenden Dillon (4) and goalie Dan Ellis (30) defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) defend against Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) during the final seconds of the game at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Avalanche 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Stars Power Countdown: 76 Days: Eakin and Dillon

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Good afternoon, Stars fans! The weekend is on the verge of appearing and that means so is the NHL season (well, maybe not as much)! 76 days until the Dallas Stars open their season against the Chicago Blackhawks at the American Airlines Center.

After the signing of Antoine Roussel that helped avoid a salary arbitration meeting between Roussel and the Stars organization, it looked as though everything was good for the Dallas Stars. Until they were reminded of Cody Eakin and Brenden Dillon, the only two players left on the fence with connections to the Stars.

Jim Nill stated in an interview that the Dallas Stars have already reached out to both players and offered them new contracts, but neither have returned the call. Eakin and Dillon are both young and talented prospects, and both are RFA’s. This means that since the Dallas Stars handed them a qualifying offer a few days before the free agency period opened, they hold the negotiating rights and neither player can leave the team unless they are given permission from the Stars front office.

Eakin had a tremendous year serving as the Stars second and third line center, scoring 16 goals and tallying 35 points by the end of his first full season in the pros. There is a chance that he is feeling pressure from the Stars offseason moves, thus the reason why he is holding out. If Eakin re-signs with the Stars, they will officially have seven true centers going for four positions. But this is unlikely, considering Eakin has proven that he deserves a starting position and will most likely be sitting on the third line next season with the other two Musketeers, Ryan Garbutt and Antoine Roussel. This line is truly dangerous and is one of the top keys to focus on when an opponent comes to town.

Dillon had a bit of a shaky year. After skating for all but the last two games of the season, Dillon ended up with six goals and a total of 17 points, the lowest out of all the Stars consistent defensemen. His size is a major advantage to the Stars struggling blue line, but his offensive game needs a good bit of work. He has a spot guaranteed for him with the contract offer, considering the Stars are rebuilding their own blue line by the means of the Texas Stars blue line and there is no “franchise” defenseman, if you will, that everyone thinks about when the Stars defense comes up.

So, will Eakin and Dillon re-sign, or will they go searching for a better offer? It’s most assuredly that both will come back to Big D, they’re just holding out at the moment to see if a slim chance of surprise comes their way.

Do you want to see both players back? If not, why not?

Comments and questions below. I want to thank everyone who is reading! Go Stars!

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Tags: Analysis Brenden Dillon Cody Eakin Countdown Dallas Stars NHL Offseason

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