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Heika: Negotiations With Krys Barch Stalling

Mike Heika has an interesting note about a rather polarizing figure around these parts this morning: Krys Barch.

The Dallas Morning News columnist is reporting that the Stars have interest in re-signing the enforcer/4th liner, but that Barch's idea of what he's worth is not congruous with Joe Nieuwendyk's:

Because the Stars are hard against their internal budget of $45 million for next season (17 players signed for about $40 million, give or take a two-way contract), they may not be willing to give Barch a raise.

Barch's agent Scott Norton said there is a good chance Barch will be allowed to look at unrestricted free agency and shop himself to other teams when free agency starts July 1.

``I have had discussions with the Stars with regards to signing Krys to an extension, but at this point, we are not close to an agreement,'' Norton said. ``If I had to make an educated guess, I would think that Krys will become a free agent on July 1.'' [DMN]

Many here in this community bemoaned the use of Barch (63 games played) over Brian Sutherby (46 games played) in many instances last season, though Sutherby spent much of the year nursing a nagging shoulder problem. We have been told that Barch is a favorite of Marc Crawford, and that may have played into some of the decision making.

Barch made $575k last season and is probably looking for a bump similar to what Toby Petersen got (up to $775k) but where as Petersen plays 11 minutes a game and in more situations, we're talking about barely 7 minutes a game for Barch in a fairly limited role.

There are alternatives in Cedar Park in guys like Ray Sawada and Francis Wathier. Wathier's cap number last year (when with the big club) was just under $500k, and he will become a UFA on July 1st (despite the fact that he's only 25...I'll try to dig up more on that). Krys Barch is 30 years old, by the way. Did you realize that? Wathier played 5 games for Dallas last year, going scoreless with an even +/- rating and one fighting major. He's a big body and after seeing him in Cedar Park a couple of times this post-season, I was reminded that he uses it very well. He's not the fastest guy in the world, but could he give you 7 minutes a game and not kill you in your own end? Probably.

Could the days of watching Krys Barch pick a fight with people who are WAY bigger than him be over soon?

What would you do?