NHL Free Agency is set to begin tomorrow. Teams will begin throwing money around like it's burning a hole in their pocket for the next week or two. The Dallas Stars kicked off the festivities by signing goaltender Antti Niemi. Before the league descends into chaos it would be good to know how much the Stars are able to contribute to that chaos after acquiring their newest goaltender.
Where do they stand? We'll use HockeysCap to visualize what they have gong on.
We'll start with the forwards. The Stars are pretty well set at forward numbers wise. They do still have needs, and given how much cap space they have we can't rule out that they would acquire a forward. Here's how they stack up right now.
They have 13 forwards likely to be on the roster right now. Curtis McKenzie is currently a restricted free agent, but he was tendered a qualifying offer. Counting McKenzie adds about $700,000 to the cap. There are also $1.28 million in potential bonuses for Valeri Nichushkin and Brett Ritchie not included in this count. Some of those bonuses will be obtainable, but others, especially for Nichushkin, are likely pipe dreams.
On defense the Stars have seven players under contract at the NHL level with Jamie Oleksiak as a restricted free agent who has to clear waivers if he doesn't make the roster out of training camp.
The graphic doesn't show Patrik Nemeth who signed a two year contract for $900,000.
In net the Stars will have the highest paid pair of netminders in the NHL at $10.4 million. As we'll see in a minute it doesn't really matter though, at least not right now.
HockeysCap has the Stars shaping up like this:
They really have 22 players on the roster, and we can round the actual salary commitments at the NHL level to about $62 million including the reachable bonuses The Stars then have roughly $9-10 million available to spend on the roster with one roster opening. In the long run the Stars will need to move a goalie most likely, but right now it doesn't matter.
The Stars can pursue whoever they want at any position. Any major acquisition is going to require the Stars to make corresponding roster moves due to how many NHL players they have under contract. Money wise, they're in as good of shape as any team in the league.