The saga of Mattias Janmark and his degenerative, genetic knee condition took a positive step forward today as the Dallas Stars announced he had agreed to a one-year, $700,000 contract extension for the 2017-18 season. Janmark was scheduled to become a restricted free agent when this fiscal year ended.
The 24-year-old forward missed all of the 2016-17 season after an injury in training camp revealed he had the condition osteochondritis dissecans, a genetic condition affecting the articular cartilage in his knee. He underwent pretty immediate corrective surgery and spent the entire year in recovery.
Although he skated with the team toward the end of the year, he was never a realistic option to return even if the season had been headed toward the playoffs. According to general manager Jim Nill, he only had the screws in his knee removed a few weeks ago.
While Nill says he is optimistic Janmark can return for next season, this clearly is a bet hedging contract for both sides. A one-year, low-cost deal allows Janmark to prove he can come back at the same high level as he was before, thus deserving a higher-dollar contract quickly. From the Stars perspective, if the injury has hampered his performance or if it ends up being a career-threatening issue, they aren’t locked into a higher term and money.
Here is the official release from the team (with officially released full terms! Let this be a sign for the future.):
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed forward Mattias Janmark to a one-year, $700,000 contract extension.
Janmark, 24, missed the 2016-17 season due to a knee injury. The forward has registered 29 points (15-14=29) in 73 regular-season NHL games, all coming during the 2015-16 campaign with Dallas. Janmark also posted a +12 plus/minus rating and scored three game-winning goals and one shorthanded goal in his only season of NHL action. Janmark has registered five points (2-3=5) in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff contests as well.
"Mattias is a player that we missed as much as anyone last season with the unfortunate injury he suffered," said Nill. "We look forward to him returning to our group and getting him back for training camp."
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden was originally selected by Detroit in the third round (79th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. Janmark was acquired by Dallas via trade on March 1, 2015 along with defenseman Mattias Backman and a second-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft (Roope Hintz) in exchange for forward Erik Cole and a third-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft.