The Dallas Stars last played a game exactly one month ago. Since then, it's been a fairly quiet offseason with no players being cut, no coaches fired and no shakeups in the front office. So far. The only big news has been the reported shortcomings of Hicks Sports Group, the company that owns the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers, and how they defaulted on $525 million in separate loans. It's still unclear on how this will affect the Stars franchise if at all, but Tom Hicks has until October to work things out.
While it's been quiet, there's still been some significant happenings in the Dallas Stars world over the past month. Several young Stars players participated in the IIHF World Championship the past few weeks in Switzerland and no doubt gained valuable experience on the international stage. We've seen the team sign several prospects to entry-level contracts, the Stars' top prospect dominate the WHL playoffs and the team actively pursue Swedish goaltender sensation Jonas Gustavsson.
With one month of the offseason gone by and the Stanley Cup Playoffs just about halfway over, I thought this would be a good time to provide an update on what's happened so far and look ahead to the timeline of the coming months.
Follow the jump for a look at all the personnel news of the past month, as well as a timeline for the rest of the offseason.
July 1 - Free agency signing period begins.
July 5 - Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration.
July 6 - Deadline for club-elected salary arbitration.
July 10 - Deadline for eligible players to elect Group 5 free agency.
July 20-Aug. 4 - Salary arbitration hearings held.
Aug. 6 - Deadline for salary arbitration decisions to be rendered.
Unrestricted free agents are free to sign with any team of their choosing after July 1st. The Stars can sign their UFA's to new contracts before the signing period begins. Teams losing unrestricted free agents do not receive extra draft picks as compensation.
A team must extend a "qualifying offer" to its restricted free agent to retain negotiating rights to that player. Players making less than $660,000 must be offered 110 percent of last season's salary. Players making up to $1 million must be offered 105 percent. Players making over $1 million must be offered 100 percent. Both teams and players have the right to ask for salary arbitration as a mechanism to settle contract disputes. A team can take a player to arbitration once in his career, and cannot ask for a salary reduction greater than 15 percent. Players can ask for salary arbitration as often as they want.
Here is the list of Dallas Stars players scheduled to become free agents on July 1st:
- Joel Lundqvist told a Swedish newspaper that he has been informed by the Dallas Stars that he will not be offered a contract for the upcoming season.
- Jere Lehtinen has stated during interviews that he expects to return to the Stars and can't see himself playing for any other team.
May 25-30 - NHL Combine, Toronto.
June 26-27 - NHL draft, Montreal.
For the first time in over ten years the Dallas Stars have a top ten draft pick, currently possesing the 8th overall pick in the 2009 entry level draft. While the complete draft order has yet to be determined, we do know the Stars have the following picks:
Round 1; 8th overall
Round 2; 38th overall
Round 3; 69th overall
Round 5; 128th overall
Round 6; 158th overall
Round 7: 188th overall
*There are two conditional picks in the seventh round that have yet to be determined, both involving the Stars.
Look for an in-depth analysis of the top prospects in the draft throughout the month of June.
Dallas Stars prospects
Over the past few months, the Stars have signed several prospects to entry-level contracts:
Richard Bachman, G
Jamie Benn, LW
Colton Sceviour, C/RW
Philip Larsen, D
Michael Neal, LW
Luke Gazdic, LW
Here is a full list of the current prospects in the Stars system, and their stats from the 2008-2009 season.
Western Hockey League
|Matt Tassone||C||Swift Current||52||36||19||55||+23||100|
Ontario Hockey League
|Tyler Beskowney||G||Owen Sound||37||2160||11-12-10||3.64||.902||1|
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
United States Hockey League
|Scott Winkler||C||Cedar Rapids||55||10||26||36||+3||35|
|Richard Bachman||G||Colorado College||35||2073||14-11-10||2.63||.914||3|
|Tom Wandell||C||Timra (Swe)||51||15||26||41||+15||26|
|Phillip Larsen||D||Frolunda (Swe)||53||2||15||17||+8||18|
|Perttu Lindgren||C||Lukko (Fin)||49||5||19||24||-5||16|
|Ondrej Roman||C||Vitkovice (Cze)||26||3||6||9||+6||2|
Unlike this past season, the Dallas Stars will once again have an AHL affiliate where they will develop prospects, get experience for young players on the roster and call up players if injury dictates.
The Texas Stars were granted a one-year, conditional membership in the AHL based on the team purchasing an AHL franchise within one year. The Stars will play in Cedar Park, Texas, a small suburb outside Austin.
Mini-camps and training camp
The Stars will hold several mini-camps this summer for young prospects and rookies, leading up to training camp in September. The dates for these camps have not been set yet, but we will update you as soon as we find out what they are.