The Dallas Stars have locked up one of their key restricted free agents today as the team announced the signing of forward Brett Ritchie to a one-year contract.
General Fanager's Twitter account reported that the contract was one way with a cap hit of $875,000, which is essentially equal to what the qualifying offer would have been had he reached the RFA qualification deadline.
Ritchie was set to be an RFA this offseason and was coming off an entry-level contract that had a cap hit of $894,166 but a slightly lower annual salary, since the hit included his signing bonus. He has played 38 career NHL games since being drafted in 2011 with six goals but missed large chunks of last season with injuries.
He was one of two major forward RFAs, with the other being winger Valeri Nichushkin. The Stars have one notable defenseman RFA in Jamie Oleksiak and have minor-league RFA decisions to make about Jack Campbell, Matej Stransky and Maxime Lagace as well.
With today's signing, the Stars have 17 presumptive roster players (11 forwards, four defensemen and two goalies) for next season signed for a total of $58.3 million in cap hits, including the retained $900,000 from Ryan Garbutt's contract.
Here is the official release from the team:
FRISCO, Texas – Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed right wing Brett Ritchie to a one-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ritchie, 22, split the season between Dallas and the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL). The winger tallied one point (0-1=1) and 30 hits in eight regular-season games with Dallas in 2015-16. Ritchie made his NHL postseason debut this season, recording one shot on goal and two hits in two games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The winger also appeared in 35 regular-season AHL games with Texas, registering 28 points (14-14=28).
Ritchie has earned 10 points (6-4=10) in 39 career regular-season NHL contests, all with Dallas. The winger has also accumulated 101 points (53-48=101) in 141 career regular-season AHL contests with Texas. A member of the 2014 Calder Cup champion Texas Stars, Ritchie has appeared in 28 career Calder Cup Playoffs games, recording 17 points (11-6=17).
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Orangeville, Ont. was originally selected by Dallas in the second round (44th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.