Dallas Stars Have Interesting Situation With 2018 Free Agency Class

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 21: Antoine Roussel
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 21: Antoine Roussel /

The 2018 free agency class for the Dallas Stars is incredibly unique. With that being said, the decisions the team has to make this summer will be all the more critical. And they may not be easy decisions, either.

The Dallas Stars are already gearing up for the 2018-19 season. After being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoff race with a week to go in the regular season, what else is a hockey team going to do?

Amidst searching for a new head coach and preparing to host a draft, there is one other factor that always seems to heavily involve Dallas: free agency.

Ever since Jim Nill was signed as general manager in April 2013, the Dallas Stars have arguably been the most involved team in the free agency market. Whether it is trading for Tyler Seguin or signing Alexander Radulov, Nill enjoys making big splashes during the summer.

And while this offseason will likely once again involve perusing the free agency market for talent to help beef up their lineup, they have another area to cover beforehand: their own pending free agents.

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The 2018 free agency class for the Dallas Stars involves an interesting twist, though.

Over the past few summers, the Stars have dealt with some significant pending free agents. Last year, Patrick Sharp, Ales Hemsky, Radek Faksa, and Esa Lindell were all in need of a new deal. Those are big name free agents mixed with potentially large pieces of the Stars’ future.

In the 2016 offseason, it was a four-person UFA battle on defense with Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers, Kris Russell, and Jordie Benn all needing new deals.

This offseason, however, things look different. Here is a list of the free agents, both unrestricted and restricted, for the Dallas Stars this summer.

UFA Forwards:

Antoine Roussel

Curtis McKenzie (AHL)

Brian Flynn (AHL)

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UFA Defensemen:

Dan Hamhuis

Greg Pateryn

Andrew Bodnarchuk (AHL)

Reece Scarlett (AHL)

Andrew O’Brien (AHL)

Brent Regner (AHL)

UFA Goalies:

Kari Lehtonen

Mike McKenna (AHL)

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  • RFA Forwards:

    Devin Shore

    Mattias Janmark

    Gemel Smith

    Jason Dickinson

    Remi Elie

    Cole Ully (ECHL)

    RFA Defensemen:

    Stephen Johns

    Dillon Heatherington

    RFA Goalies:

    Philippe Desrosiers

    It’s an interesting group, isn’t it? Not seeing it? Well, let me explain.

    The interesting thing about this year’s free agency class is that there are arguably no “franchise superstar” players to deal with.

    While the restricted free agents will likely either get a new contract, be qualified, or be let go, the unrestricted free agents could go either way.

    For example, Greg Pateryn and Dan Hamhuis are two veteran defenders that played a big role for the Stars this year. But neither of them earned a long-term, big money deal and neither are known around the league as “superstars.” Instead, both are simply depth defenders that can do their job on a regular basis. Would they help next year? Probably, but at what price? Or do the Stars have younger players that could fill the role?

    Antoine Roussel is another one. He’s a fan favorite and is the peskiest player Dallas possesses, but is his lacking offensive production a reason to let go of him? Or should the Stars try and swing a cheap deal to keep him for his physicality and ability to help fill seats?

    When you scroll down the list, it seems as though each player did their job this year. But none of them really stood out as game changing assets that need a new contract. In fact, a lot of the players on the list could probably be replaced by other players in the system.

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    With that being said, which players will the Stars bring back? There are a lot to choose from and Dallas doesn’t have the cap to re-sign all of them. With all of this molding together, the Stars have a lot to digest over the next two months.

    So, which players will be in Victory Green next year?