On the heels of signing pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Roman Polak earlier today, the Dallas Stars announced another signing. Restricted free agent-to-be forward Mattias Janmark received a one-year contract extension worth $2.3 million towards the cap this coming season.
At this time of the season, teams start to make signings so that they have a clearer picture of their cap situation as they head into the draft weekend. With that date approaching in just two weeks, and the trade market heating up between now and then, the Polak and Janmark signings help solidify Dallas’ roster for the coming year.
Janmark scored 6 goals and put up 25 points in the 2018-2019 season playing in a variety of lines. He saw some time in the top six and a good portion in the bottom six. He never really seemed to find a consistent groove this season, constantly cycling between linemates as injuries and roster changes dictated. They could have contributed to his disappointing goal scoring this past season — Janmark was a consistent 15+ goal scorer in his first two full NHL seasons, disrupted by a career-threatening degenerative knee condition.
He was utilized a lot in a penalty killing role this season, and was part of the second unit killing penalties behind Radek Faksa and company. The Stars did finish the season with one of the top penalty kill rates in the league with Janmark doing some yeoman’s work in the shorthanded time.
What’s interesting about this contract for Janmark is that he was signed for the same salary as last season, which is the minimum qualifying amount the Stars would be required to offer him as a restricted free agent.
The Janmark and Polak signings today have Dallas with a projected 11 (healthy) forwards and five (healthy) blueliners signed for next season according to CapFriendly. They still have about $13 million in cap space to sign RFAs Brett Ritchie, Jason Dickinson, and Julius Honka (assuming Dallas wants to qualify all of them) and make a potential offer to keep winger Mats Zuccarello in Dallas instead of testing free agency on July 1.
It’s important to keep in mind that these moves are done in concert of a larger vision. Usually that picture doesn’t come into focus for fans until after the dust settles in mid-July.