There are two big storylines left for Dallas Stars fans heading into the (presumed) start of the 2012-13 season.
The first, and most obvious, is the collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA. Obviously, without a CBA in place, the season won't start at all.
The second is the contract negotiations between the team and restricted free agent Jamie Benn. Benn presents a very interesting dilemma for a team that prefers to offer second contracts of the so-called "bridge" variety. The Stars may very well want to do this with their young star. But the fact that contract values may very well change under the new CBA presents an interesting bargaining hurdle.
Allan Muir explored that problem in a recent notes column.
Here's the twist: now that it's known that the league wants a CBA that won't honor the full value of previously signed deals, there's no reason for Benn to sign any time soon unless he's given an even higher AAV to protect him when escrow claws back 15-20 percent of every deal. Or he could threaten to hold out when play resumes, knowing that a team struggling to regain its footing in the Dallas market can't afford the negative optics of starting a delayed season with its franchise player on the sidelines.
Either way, Benn is likely to end up with a deal far richer than Eriksson and Neal...and maybe even more lucrative than those given Edmonton's young stars.
After the jump, the Stars re-up their agreement with Idaho, why fans really can't affect the CBA negotiations and revisiting Richard Zednik's horrific neck injury.
- With the holiday weekend and CBA negotiations Armageddon combining, it was an understandably slow period for Stars news. One of the only pieces to come out was the official renewal of the affiliation between the Stars and the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. [DallasNews.com]
Trevor Daley is wrapping up the holiday weekend by helping raise money for a good cause. The Stars defenseman is the chair of today's Celebrity Golf Tournament hosted by the Tackle Cancer Foundation. [DallasStars.com]
- Whenever the season does start, Michael Ryder will be right on the edge of several nice career milestones. [CBC.ca]
- The Stars' offeseason moves get a few more props from the Canadian media. [Toronto Star]
- One of the main pickups last offseason was center Derek Roy, who promptly had shoulder surgery that will have him out until at least November. And while there is a lot of potential good that could come out of the pickup, there's also a pretty significant risk as well. [DallasNews.com]
- A team that is not getting rave reviews for this offseason is the Philadelphia Flyers, who have tried almost every available option to pick up a defenseman without much success. But some believe former Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossmann, a late addition via trade last season, will be a stabilizing force. [Rant Sports]
- In today's lockout-related portion of the links, the people at the Edmonton Sun are not very pleased with either side in the negotiations. [Edmonton Sun]
- As much as every fiber of me screams that there must be something I can do to shorten the inevitable lockout, Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy is right when he points out there's really not. Plus bonus points for the awesome Photoshop job at the top of the story. [Puck Daddy]
- There were two awesome stories from Backhand Shelf since the most recent links, and because you guys are so lucky, I'm going to link them both. The first details why Richard Zednik taking a skate blade to the throat several years ago was a Very Bad Thing and exactly how he survived. [Backhand Shelf]
- The second is this piece from Ellen Etchingham as she uses advanced stats to try and pinpoint the worst player in the NHL. [Backhand Shelf]
- You just might recognize this game that the Stars put up as a part of their Friday Flashback series. And you might be seeing it on a countdown somewhere near you soon.