The Dallas Stars want to improve during the offseason. How they do that will be the subject of much speculation over the next few weeks. So who wants to play a few rounds of Armchair GM?
Jim Nill is a known known when it comes to qualifying his RFAs (he’s going to do it, even if they’re already on the way to another league). So Sean Shapiro looked directly at the deals he expects for players who separated themselves from the pack:
Esa Lindell ... is the Stars’ big-money RFA this summer. He’s coming off a bridge deal that will lead to a lucrative payday for the soon-to-be 25-year-old after he had a career year and then took another step in the playoffs. He’s a top-pairing defenseman who’s going to get paid as such, likely costing the Stars $5 million per season.
Jason Dickinson’s situation models Brett Ritchie’s from a couple of seasons ago. He’s coming off a one-year deal after his entry-level contract and he’s now imprinted himself as an NHL regular after making $875,000 against the cap during the 2018-19 season.
Shapiro estimates the Stars will have more than $9.5 million in cap space after they’ve spent their RFA budget, and that’s presuming Martin Hanzal is healthy enough to play in 2019-20. What sort of deal could they make for Mats Zuccarello?
The Stars are keen on re-signing Zuccarello after the impact he had in the playoffs, even while playing through the pain of a recovered broken arm which required three to four shots before each contest.
Alexander Radulov’s free agency two years ago is a fair comparison for Zuccarello’s. With that in mind, a five-year deal worth $6.25 million per season may be the best-case scenario to keep Zuccarello in Dallas. He’ll have loads of interest this summer and will be primed to cash in.
If the Stars need a top-four alternative to Stephen Johns, the picture gets blurrier:
Personally, I think Anton Stralman is an ideal fit. He’s right-handed and can play alongside Lindell or Heiskanen, allowing the Stars to better even out of the minutes for their top four. I don’t think Dallas needs that veteran presence on defense like some others would indicate — Lindell and Klingberg are now veterans in my mind and Heiskanen already plays like one — but Stralman’s age sets up well. At 32, he’ll likely land a contract at a reasonable number of years, better aligning with the future raises coming for Heiskanen in two seasons.
The Stars could also make a run at Tyler Myers, but the cost and term will likely be much higher for the 29-year-old righty.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
Lyle Richardson looks at the Zucc situation in his latest offseason roundup.
Rumor Roundup: Off-season outlook for the Blue Jackets, Islanders, Stars and Avalanchehttps://t.co/6JW5ejpQNo— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) May 16, 2019
Around The League(s): Postseason Edition
Here’s the Erik Karlsson goal that resulted.
So the Sharks scored on a play that should have been blown dead. The officials were managing the game. Do you want them not to manage the game?
But seriously, how badly does the league need improvement in this area? Iain McIntyre suggests that “allowable review” needs to cover a lot more area.
What will the Canes have to do to bounce back?
The Hurricanes will need to make NHL history if they want to advance to the Stanley Cup final. @THNJaredClinton on what Carolina will need to do in order to become the first time to erase a 3-0 deficit in the conference final:https://t.co/gyBunh3dZL— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) May 16, 2019
The Buffalo Sabres have tapped former Switzerland national coach Ralph Krueger, who led Team Europe to the 2016 World Cup final, as their next bench boss.
New Sabres coach Ralph Krueger is "a huge, huge, huge get for Buffalo," says Thomas Vanek. "He'll get the most out of any group." https://t.co/hmcHfteyvo— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) May 15, 2019
The Stars are asking. Will you tell them?