ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Mark Fistric #28 of the Dallas Stars controls the puck against Mark Bell #18 of the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on February 1, 2012 in Anaheim, California. The Stars won 6-2. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
And now we are down to one.
After avoiding arbitration with Richard Bachman, signing the goaltender to a one-year, one-way contract earlier this week, the Stars avoided arbitration with one of their final Restricted Free Agents by signing defenseman Mark Fistric to a one-year contract worth $1.475 million.
Fistric, the Stars 1st round draft pick in 2004, was coming off a three-year contract worth $3 million and had earned $1.25 million last season. Fistric appeared in 60 games for the Stars last season but found himself in a reduced role, putting up just two assists and two points total on the season -- and the least penalty minutes in a season in his career.
With the Stars signing Aaron Rome, and youngster Brenden Dillon likely getting an NHL job this season, Fistric was likely looking for a one-way contract in order to help secure his spot on the roster. Fistic took on a bigger defensive responsibility once Nicklas Grossmann was traded, yet saw mostly easy minutes and seemed to struggle at times with the puck in transition.
That being said, Fistric certainly has a place on this team. He is arguably the most physical defenseman currently on the roster and will be needed to add some attitude to the game after the departure of players like Sheldon Souray and Steve Ott. Fistric can be effective in the role of an intimidator on the ice and he'll certainly be used in that role again this season.
The Stars now have just one RFA remaining to sign: Jamie Benn. We'll have more on that situation on Monday.