The Erik Karlsson circus, like the John Tavares sweepstakes before it, has provided a big, shiny fan distraction from the Dallas Stars’ regular business. But one element of it is constantly bubbling under the surface – and that’s the Tyler Seguin contract extension that doesn’t exist, or hasn’t been announced yet, or is just around the corner, probably. Maybe.
July 4th, 2018 marked the fifth anniversary of GM Jim Nill’s blockbuster announcement that the Boston Bruins’ generationally talented problem child would become a Star. This year, the milestone produced mixed emotions – the ever-present “Thanks, Boston!” glee alloyed by apprehension about Seguin’s future in the city where he has become a leader on and off the ice.
In a new piece for The Athletic, Sean Shapiro enumerates the issues at play for Seguin, starting with the relevance of the Tavares-Karlsson kabuki to his own interests:
Maybe trading for Karlsson is the confidence booster Seguin needs to re-up with Dallas this summer. Maybe in a dream world, Dallas can have a joint press conference where they announce matching eight-year, $88 million extensions for the players.
But one big move might not be enough. Like many things with the Stars, they’ve lost the benefit of the doubt when it comes to transactions and player movement. In theory, a Karlsson addition should lead to playoff fortunes, but you could say the same thing about last year’s addition of Alexander Radulov.
So it’s likely in Seguin’s best interest to wait.
Shapiro points to the elephant in the room and says yes, money is an issue – and not just after-tax income, but the “public value” a mega-deal recognizes in a true franchise player:
If Seguin is to sign an extension this summer, it likely comes in the form of an $11 million annual cap hit. These contracts are based off comparisons; when Jamie Benn signed his contract extension it was based off a market-setting deal for [Steven] Stamkos. Tavares and Drew Doughty have seemingly set the market this summer for any player that wants to re-sign.
But Seguin could reset the market next summer by waiting through this season. While the hope from Dallas would still be something close $11 million per season, if Seguin truly goes to market he could command something in the $13 million range like the San Jose Sharks were reportedly willing to offer Tavares.
There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic]
It’s Full of Stars
Not all this week’s news has been about free agency. The Stars have announced that Oshawa Generals head coach Bob Jones will join the Texas Stars in the assistant’s spot recently vacated by new Milwaukee Admirals HC Karl Taylor.
On the day before the holiday, LW Remi Elie became the first of the Stars’ qualified RFAs to sign a new deal.
The Stars have signed left wing Remi Elie to a one-year, $735,000 contract. https://t.co/woUYJ7SFOY— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 3, 2018
And Mike Heika discusses possible roles for free-agent signings Blake Comeau and Roman Polak in his latest video.
It's clear Khudobin will slot into the backup goaltender role behind Bishop, but where do Comeau and Polak fit into the lineup? @MikeHeika shares his thoughts on the recent acquisitions. pic.twitter.com/sA3qqApkQ4— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 2, 2018
Around the League(s)
Clearly, Karlsson doesn’t even care about Tyler Seguin Day, so there was no breaking news about his next move yesterday. Here’s a reminder that the Tampa Bay Lightning are competing for his services, too – and one of the NHL’s best GMs is in “with both feet.”
And in case you forget what’s at stake, Miro Heiskanen’s current GM would like a quiet word.
With Miro Heiskanen in the news as potential Erik Karlsson trade bait, here's what HIFK manager Tobias Salmelainen told me: "He was the best defenseman in the league and one of the best in Europe. He makes the game look easy. His IQ is off the charts and his skating is elite."— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) July 4, 2018
Ryan Kennedy wrote an entire article about this, in fact.
Also at THN: Ken Campbell picks 10 RFAs whose stats can stand up to arbitration – from Matt Dumba to Mark Stone to William Karlsson.
Tyler Bozak is looking ahead to his new life with the St. Louis Blues.
Bozak is crediting long-term linemate JVR for his new lucrative contract (and vice versa), but the centre is looking forward to playing for just his second NHL team. https://t.co/322NrI0kSn— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 5, 2018
And Andrew Berkshire argues that the big deal for James Neal was actually a pretty savvy move by the Calgary Flames.
The Hurricanes continued solidifying their defense by adding Calvin de Haan https://t.co/To4uob91w0— SI NHL (@SI_NHL) July 4, 2018
On the other hand, they’ve signed goalie Robin Lehner for one year at $1.5 million – which could be a win for both parties, writes Greg Wyshynski.
A little sunshine in a dark week for the Islanders https://t.co/P9yc6DvEa0— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) July 4, 2018
Patrick Kane finally has serious challengers to the title of the best U.S.-born player currently in the NHL. Johnny Gaudreau, Connor Hellebuyck, Phil Kessel, Auston Matthews and Blake Wheeler all enter the conversation as the NHL.com staff hashes it out.
The T-Stars are still sorting through the past season’s highlight-reel goals to find the best. Which scorer gets points from you – Denis Gurianov or Joel L’Esperance?