I hope you all got your coffee this morning because this because we’re already knee-deep in NHL free agency news. It feels good to start seeing where some of these names will drop. Welcome to the free agency frenzy!
Greg Pateryn is now off the boards and has now found his new city.
Looks like Greg Pateryn is Minnesota bound. Should thank Hitch/Rick Wilson for giving him the chance he never got in Montreal. Big door opening for Heatherington with the Stars.— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) June 30, 2018
After rumors were swirling that Greg Pateryn was headed to Minnesota, it is now official as the former Dallas Star has found a new home. Pateryn was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens back in February of 2017 along with a 4th round pick for Jordie Benn ending the tenure of the Benn brothers in Dallas.
This season was a season of career-highs for Pateryn as points, hits, blocked shots, time on ice saw a vast improvement given more responsibility this past year with Dallas. Under Ken Hitchcock, Pateryn saw his average time on ice soar from just 14 minutes with Montreal to a little over 19 minutes with Dallas this past season. Being the old school defender that Pateryn is, he saw his hits totals, 155, and blocked shots totals,148, rise through another career-high of 73 games played in a season.
Greg Pateryn was a bottom-line defender that played top-line minutes and while he was a steal for Dallas, he will now be a steal for Minnesota. Pateryn was due for a pay raise, and Dallas was not likely to give it to him. More than likely Pateryn will stay a bottom line defender in Minnesota behind the likes of a right now-injured Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon. Matt Dumba just got a qualifying offer on his contract and Jonas Brodin will join him on a line on the defense, so expect Pateryn to share time as a 6th defenseman.
Dallas Signs Roman Polak
The Stars signed Roman Polak to a one-year deal, adding yet another to the blueline group that already is expected to feature John Klingberg, Julius Honka, Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, Stephen Johns, and Marc Methot.
The deal is strange in that most people projected Dillon Heatherington to be NHL ready this season and potentially be the 7th defenseman in Dallas this year. However, maybe the Stars are looking to give him one more year of development before being a full time NHLer, and the one year term makes Polak the stop-gap until he isn’t ready.
As with any moves on this day, it’s best to reserve judgement until all moves are done, since these things are not moves made in a vacuum.