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Stargazing: 2009 NHL Free Agency starts today

Stargazing is a daily assortment of Dallas Stars news, as well as a look at what's happening around the Pacific division and the rest of the NHL.

We have arrived once again at July 1st, and the unrestricted free agent market is open. While the Stars are not expected to be an especially active party today, Defending Big D will keep a watchful eye, so be sure to join us for any breaking Stars news, or if you just want to talk about the Free Agent frenzy in general. Budgetary concerns or not, remember Stars fans, it's not like we can sign Sean Avery again!

Dallas re-signs Jere Lehtinen

As you've heard by now, Jere Lehtinen will be a Dallas Star for at least one more year. On Tuesday he signed a one year deal worth a base of $1.5 million, with an extra one million in incentives for a total cap hit of $2.5 million. has official press release:

Lehtinen is one of just three players in NHL history to have won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward three times (also Bob Gainey, 4, and Guy Carbonneau, 3)

Carbonneau, Gainey, Lehtinen. That's a testament to "Dallas Stars Hockey"

Mike Heika recaps the situation heading into free agency:

After signing Jere Lehtinen on Tuesday to a one-year deal, the team has 19 players for about $44 million in cap space (and about $41 million in actual cash). With the NHL's roster limit at 23 players and young fill-ins readily and inexpensively available, the Stars could easily come in under $45 million (actual money spent) when the season starts in October.

With only $4 million to spend, and a backup goaltender and presumed defensive help needed, the Stars will likely be free agency spectators for a while. A possible Jonas Gustavsson signing could further complicate the cap situation, but it's a problem the Stars would like to have at this point.

After the jump: Bouwmeester is off the table, is Dany Heatley finally leaving Ottawa? Was Modano invited back to the Olympics? And what's Jonas Gustavsson waiting for?

As Defending Big D reported yesterday
, broke the news that Gustavsson will wait until (some unspecified period of time) after today to announce his decision.

Gustavsson's agent Joe Resnick told Hockeycentral "It's highly unlikely we'll commit before 12 noon Wednesday. With so many teams potentially making major changes to their rosters, maybe it's best to wait and watch it unfold first."

Mike Modano was invited to the U.S. Olympic Hockey Camp: [Canadian Press]

What team boss Brian Burke calls the "warriors" who have played nearly every big international hockey event for the United States in the last 15 years looks to have been disbanded, except for one — Mike Modano.

Andrew's Stars page has more quotes from Burke on Modano.


Bob Sturm weighs in on the Stars draft: [D-Magazine]

I love the idea he (Glennie) is a Right Wing, because they are light on that side. I also like the fact that his best attribute is his speed. The Stars just don’t have tons of speed in their line-up, and that will help. The reality is that he is likely not going to be in Dallas until 2011, but anything short of being their top prospect within 12 months would have to be a disappointment from a Top 10 pick. More....

Defending Big D Free Agency Coverage Recap

For your viewing pleasure, here's a roundup of our Free Agency coverage:

Around the Pacific:

Around the NHL: