Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill can basically check off his last major “to do” item of the summer. The club announced that they have re-signed Jason Dickinson to a two year contract that carries a $1.5 million average annual cap hit.
To be honest, it’s lower than I anticipated Dickinson getting. It seemed after his spectacular showing in the playoffs that he’d be closer to the $2 million mark, a salary cap hit that the team would be able to fit into their picture for next season (especially once Martin Hanzal goes to LTIR). But score one for the folks over at Evolving Wild — they predicted Dickinson to get a two-year, $1.4 million contract. It came in at nearly exactly that term and salary.
Last season, Dickinson scored six goals and 22 points, career highs for the young forward. After several seasons bouncing between the AHL and NHL, Dickinson rounded into what the team expected him to be this season. He plays a full 200-foot game, playing well defensively in his own end and finding offensive chemistry in the top six. Dickinson should be a part of the long-term core of the Stars moving forward.
Head coach Jim Montgomery has shifted Dickinson around because of his versatility. He can be added to a line in the top six to help out with defensive responsibilities and the ability to drive possession out of his own end or shifted down to a more traditional checking line and shutting down top players from the opposition. Additionally, Montgomery doesn’t always stick to traditional usages, so a speedier fourth line with Dickinson as the pivot could be utilized as much as a third checking line in many games, if that’s where he ends up starting the season.
Dickinson’s signing gives the Stars 11 healthy forwards under contract for next season, with Justin Dowling likely heading back to the Texas Stars, and one spot that is up for grabs. It’s Denis Gurianov’s to keep heading into training camp:
Roope Hintz - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Jamie Benn - Joe Pavelski - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Mattias Janmark - Jason Dickinson - Denis Gurianov
The only big item left for the Stars to address this summer is the future of young blueliner Julius Honka. He has not yet been traded, something most expect to happen before the start of next season. It’s about time for a new start for him, as the Stars blueline is crowded and Honka is unlikely to see consistent ice time this season in Dallas (barring major injuries, of course).