Dallas Stars: Looking At The 2018 Free Agency Class

OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 9: Antoine Roussel
OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 9: Antoine Roussel /

The Dallas Stars still have an entire regular season and potential playoff run to get through before worrying about their 2018 free agency class. But it still couldn’t hurt to take an early peek.

In 49 days, the Dallas Stars kick off their 2017-18 regular season campaign. It’s been a long and fruitful offseason, and hopefully the Stars’ offseason moves will pay off for them in the year ahead.

Following the regular season, Dallas will (hopefully) start a run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They certainly have the necessary members for a playoff team on paper, but nothing is assured until play begins.

There’s still a lot of time between now and the playoffs and a lot of excitement to build around. But what happens when the 2018 offseason approaches? What will the Stars have to deal with?

The Dallas Stars will host the 2018 NHL Entry Draft for the first time in franchise history near the end of June. Following that, there is always the exciting opening to the free agency frenzy on July 1.

Dallas Stars
Dallas Stars /

Dallas Stars

But don’t forget about what has to happen before the free agency market opens. Each of the 31 teams must look into their pending free agent class and make decisions on each player. Sometimes, this can be a complicated endeavor.

A few questions must be asked in this procedure. Is the player still contributing at a consistent rate? Does the team have enough cap space to re-sign the player? Is he looking for big money or a long term that the team may not be able to offer? These are just a few of the questions that can come into play.

The Dallas Stars will have to apply these questions to a lot of players in the 2018 offseason. That’s because the Stars’ 2018 free agency class is rather stocked.

But before you freak out due to the Stars’ already limited cap space and the potential need for big-time contracts, just realize that the 2018 class is stocked in quantity, but not necessarily in quality.

That’s not to say that the players in the class aren’t talented in their own respect or don’t offer something sizable to the team. After all, if they didn’t help the team in some way, why would they be on it in the first place?

To put it in different terms, there are no “Tyler Seguins” or “Jamie Benns” in this year’s free agency class. The players in the 2018 class are primarily depth players in the bottom six or on the bottom pairing.

Here is a list of the players in the class and how much their current cap hit is:


Antoine Roussel (27)   $2,000,000   UFA

Devin Shore (23)   $870,000   RFA

Curtis McKenzie (26)   $700,000   UFA

Brian Flynn (29)   $700,000   UFA

Mattias Janmark (24)   $700,000   RFA

Adam Cracknell (32)   $675,000   UFA

Jason Dickinson (22)   $894,167   RFA

Remi Elie (22)   $745,000   UFA

Gemel Smith (23)   $650,000   RFA


Dan Hamhuis (34)   $3,750,000   UFA

Jamie Oleksiak (24)   $964,688   RFA

Patrik Nemeth (25)   $945,000   RFA

Greg Pateryn (27)   $800,000   UFA

Stephen Johns (25)   $725,000   RFA


Kari Lehtonen (33)   $5,900,000   UFA

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This is not the complete list of pending free agents in the Dallas Stars system. Instead, it only includes players that have spent time in Big D with the Stars.

When you break it down, there is a lot to like about this list. There are some grinders, hard workers, depth scorers, and overall dedicated players. Besides the veterans Hamhuis and Lehtonen, no player on the list is paid over $2 million and a good number of the players will still be RFAs at the end of the season.

The players on this list also bring new questions into perspective. Will the Stars be able to find a competent and NHL-ready backup goalie if they don’t re-sign Lehtonen? If Hamhuis goes, will the Stars have a rookie defender ready to fill in? Will Dallas be able to re-sign depth forwards AND strike a new deal with Tyler Seguin, who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019? Will Antoine Roussel ask for a steep price?

Next: Fans Weigh In On Oleksiak, Pateryn, And Nemeth

There will be plenty to follow, and things will continue to develop over this coming season. The 2018 offseason promises to be an entertaining one for the Dallas Stars. But until then, let’s enjoy the in-seasn hype. It’ll be here before you know it.