NHL Free Agency: Dallas Stars Have Plethora Of Restricted Free Agents In Texas

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of decisions for Dallas to make down on the farm this summer.

The Dallas Stars have quite a few choices to be made in the summer, and not just on their own roster. They have many restricted free agents coming up for contracts at the end of the season, and decisions will need to be made on where they fit into the scheme of the Stars organization as a whole. Stephen Meserve from Hundred Degree Hockey and I look at each of them in detail.

Austin Smith

25 years old, 5' 11" 180, Right wing, Right shot
10 games played in Texas, 4 games played in Idaho of the ECHL

Smith never found his scoring touch in the AHL and went to Finland.

Taylor: Smith went over to Europe and tweeted that he had signed a contract over there for next year, so this will be one contract coming off the Dallas books.
Stephen: He will not receive a qualifying offer this summer and will become a free agent.

Scott Glennie

23 years old, 6' 1" 195, Right wing, Right shot
9 goals, 10 assists, 19 pts in 34 games played at the AHL level this season

Taylor: Glennie will get a contract, but I think it will be a "show me" contract. He still needs to prove that he can stay healthy enough to play in a season. I swear every time he's in Dallas for a camp of any kind he's hurt or hurts himself.
Stephen: After many seasons of disappointment, Glennie's is an easy offer to extend. He's been a revelation this season on a line with Chris Mueller. The cheap contract and 'sunk cost' of his draft position probably makes him a no-brainer QO. I would expect one-year, two-way.

Cameron Gaunce

23 years old, 6' 1" 210, Defenseman, Left shot
Appeared in nine games for Dallas this season before being sent down to Texas

Reasons to sign: ready for the NHL now, steady defensive effort

Reasons to trade: ready for the NHL now

Taylor: Gaunce is more of the shut-down type that Dallas doesn't have a lot of in the system, so I'd think that he gets a two year, two-way deal. It also wouldn't surprise me if he's used as a trade piece to get something for Dallas that they need - you have to give to get.
Stephen: Gaunce could be part of the long-term plans on defense in Dallas. Could be playing at that level now and that might make him a trade piece. Could be sniped via waivers on send-down, so that complicates matters.

Dustin Jeffrey

26 years old, 6' 1" 205, Center, Left shot
Played in 12 games in Dallas before being put on waivers to go to Texas

Jeffrey has a history of performing well in the AHL level, but he's looked almost invisible at times in Texas. He's getting time next to some of the highest scoring forwards and hasn't been able to put up numbers. He wasn't able to crack the Dallas roster even during injuries early in the season.

Taylor: Jeffrey seems to be a "tweener" so I really don't know what they're going to do with him. He's one of those ones that would be considered a veteran, and he's younger than typical prospects. Is an AHL-only contract beyond the realm of possibility?
Stephen: Not really sure what to say here. He's been unimpressive with Texas.

Ryan Button

22 years old, 6' 1" 195, Defenseman, Left shot
Split time so far this season, having appeared in 26 games for Texas and 18 games in Idaho of the ECHL

Reasons to sign: cheap option, still developing, promising diversity of skill

Taylor: Depth signing for Dallas is what Button's contract would be. I think he needs some more time to figure out what he is going to be within this system.
Stephen:Still coming off his ELC, Button clearly has something worthwhile as he found a home in Texas at the forward position when the team was in a crunch. He could probably be 5/6 in Texas or first call in Idaho. I think Coach Desjardins would advocate for him.

Hubert Labrie

22 years old, 5' 11" 190, Defenseman, Left shot

Reasons to sign: Has played the majority of the season in Texas due to injuries and earned his time.

Taylor: I think this might be one of those depth signings that end up as an AHL-only deal, or an AHL/ECHL deal. I think he's probably topped out at the AHL level, but he is still young and defensemen are typically slow developers.
Stephen: Not sure he presents a unique enough skill set to make him an easy QO extension, especially as you approach the 50 contract limit.

Tristan King

King is effectively not with the organization anymore after legal issues forced his trade from Idaho. He will not receive a qualifying offer.

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