Antoine Roussel, Dallas Stars Agree To Four-Year, $8 Million Contract

The Stars sign Roussel to a deal worth $2 million per year.

The Dallas Stars and forward Antoine Roussel have agreed to a four-year contrat, avoiding Tuesday's arbitration hearing and signing the agitating specialist to a very good deal for both player and the team.

The worry was that the Stars and Roussel were fairly wide apart on terms, with the forward supposedly asking for $2.35 million with the Stars countering with $1.15. As so often happens in these cases, however, the two sides were able to come together and reach a deal that will make Roussel an integral part of this team for some time to come.

Roussel was a surprise addition to the team coming out of the lockout in 2013 and was seen as merely fourth line depth, but quickly established himself as a player that can have a significant impact on the game. Playing at times on the second line in 2013-14, Roussel became one of the best checking line forwards for the Stars last season while also proving capable of adding some offensive pop when needed.

In 81 games last season, Roussel was near the top of the league with 209 penalty minutes -- but also added 14 goals and 15 assists, and was part of very effective checking line along with Cody Eakin and Ryan Garbutt heading into the postseason. It's expected that trio will be together once more this coming season.

Roussel's deal is worth an average of $2 million per season, but will pay him more as the contract progresses:

While $2 million per season may seem a bit much, the actual salary makes sense and shows the Stars think Roussel still has potential for growth as a player. What's interesting is the cap hit of the deal, as that will affect what contract the Stars ultimately sign Cody Eakin and Brenden Dillon to.

Here's the press release:

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Antoine Roussel on a four-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Roussel, 24, concluded his second season with the Dallas Stars, earning career highs during the regular season in games played (81), goals (14), assists (15), points (29) and penalty minutes (209). The winger finished the 2013-14 campaign third in the NHL with 209 penalty minutes and was the only player in the League to record more than 25 points and 150 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 200-pound forward made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2014, posting three assists, four shots and 27 penalty minutes in six postseason contests.

"Since coming into the NHL, Antoine has been a very effective and hard player for opposing teams to compete against," said Nill. "His skill combined with his competitive grit create energy for our club that impacts our whole lineup."

A native of Roubaix, France, Roussel went undrafted and was initially signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 2, 2012.