Dallas Stars Restricted Free Agents Due For New Contracts

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What will Dallas sign their restricted free agents to this summer?

Unlike unrestricted free agents, a team's restricted free agents are not generally moved at the trade deadline in order to get something in return before they just walk away in the summer. The team has control over RFAs and as such get first crack at signing them; ofttimes we see RFAs new contracts announced after the team has gone out and done their shopping in the free agency frenzy in the summer.

Looking at Dallas' restricted free agent list there's only three the Stars have to contend with this season. Each of these players could be considered part of the young core that Dallas has coming up, so an eye will be kept on these contract extensions to determine how general manager Jim Nill's philosophy to free agents is demonstrated.

The free agent signings for Dallas aren't as significant on their current NHL roster. They have a slew of them in the minors, however, so we'll also be looking into those later this week. Until then, a look at the RFAs and how we envision their contracts to be structured.

Antoine Roussel

24 years old, 6' 0" 200, left handed, left wing
96 NHL games played (all for Dallas), 16 goals, 17 assists, 33 pts, +3, 223 PIMs
(Sits 2nd in NHL this season in PIMs with 138 to date, behind only Tom Sestito of the Vancouver Canucks with 167 PIMs)

What he brings to the Dallas Stars

The fiesty French forward (say that three times fast) brings a lot of tenacity to the Stars' lineup. He works hard every shift and uses his speed to shut down opposing players. Never afraid to drop the gloves to stick up for a teammate, Roussel embodies a 'pest' role left open by the departure of Steve Ott to Buffalo. If the team is ever looking for a spark on a given night, most likely it's going to come from fan favorite Roussel in one way or another.

What we think his contract could look like

David: Something similar to Garbutt perhaps? They're basically twins on the ice anyway. [Garbutt got a three year, $5.4 million extension from Dallas recently.]
Ismael: I think they'll sign him for three years at $1-$1.5 million a season.
Taylor: I like what Roussel brings to the bottom six in Dallas. While I'm sure there are cheaper options out there, and guys coming up through the ranks in Austin that could fill a similar role, Roussel has shown that he can slide up in a pinch and produce as a depth scorer. I like the idea of a Garbutt type extension, so I'd say he earns a three year, $5.4 million extension to match his twin on the ice.

Brenden Dillon

23 years old, 6' 3" 225, left handed, defense
107 NHL games played (all for Dallas), 8 goals, 13 assists, 21 pts, +4, 129 PIMs 
Leads all Dallas Stars defensemen in goals this season with five to date, third in points on the blueline

What he brings to the Dallas Stars

Dillon provides Dallas with the large size and shutdown defense that is lacking on an undersized corps. He's been able to pair well and succeed with just about anyone this season when injuries caused shuffling in the pairings. There was some line of thought that Stephane Robidas made Dillon look better, but this season he's proven that he's good in all three zones on his own merits.

What we think his contract could look like

Josh had a great take on Dillon's contract. You should read it if you haven't already.
David: Dillon has to be re-signed, if only so we can re-pair him with Robi.
Ismael: I think they'll try to lock him up for 4-5 years.
Taylor: I don't see Dallas including Dillon in any potential deals to improve the roster. He's one of those pieces that I believe they consider to be the core of this team moving forward. I think Dallas locks him up for a good long while like they have in other core pieces Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, so I'm going to guess he ends up in the six years, $24.1 million total range.

Cody Eakin

22 years old, 6' 0" 190, left handed, center
136 NHL games played (Washington Capitals, Dallas Stars), 23 goals, 37 assists, 60 pts, +1, 53 PIMs
Currently sits third on the Dallas Stars in scoring (28) behind Jamie Benn (51) and Tyler Seguin (56)

What he brings to the Dallas Stars

While Eakin isn't quite at the offensive level you would expect out of a second line center, he's got all of the tools developing to become one. Already he's a great third line center and has demonstrated this year his ability to shutdown opposing teams' top lines. He's shown flashes of brilliance but as is common with younger players the consistency is what needs to happen next for him.

What we think his contract could look like

David: Give him at least three years and bring in a second line center, allowing Eakin to play third line, and I will be stoked.
Ismael: I can see them giving him a 1-2 year "show me" contract in hopes that he'll bust out offensively so they can give him more money.
Taylor: Eakin is a bit of a puzzle to me. I think it comes down to what his potential is projected to be. If you're looking at him as a future second line center, he's not there yet so you don't give him that kind of term/money to be that right now. On the other hand, he's already shown he's a very good option at third line center and he's only going to get better as he develops. I'm hoping for a bridge contract of two years at $2.5 million a season that allows him to show the team where his ceiling is going to net out and potentially get paid on the next contract after that.

What do you think these contracts end up looking like?

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