Update on Restricted Free Agents Cody Eakin & Brenden Dillon Contract Negotiations: There is None

The Dallas Stars begin training camp in just over a week, but two of the most important young players on the roster won't be there. Which is okay.

As Dallas Stars training camp fast approaches there's a concern growing over the fact there has been no news or updates on the ongoing contract negotiations with restricted free agents Brenden Dillon and Cody Eakin. There has been nary a whisper of any sort of offers or counter offers or even any sort of hint of if there's any sort of strife surrounding the negotiations, like we've seen with P.K. Subban or Adam Larsson, which can be seen as a good or bad thing.

On Thursday, Mike Heika held his first true chat of the new season and updated us on the status of the non-updates coming in regards to the negotiations:

The lines of communication are open, but there has been no progress. Because this isn't an arbitration, you can use all of the comparables you want, but they only provide structure, they don't provide any push toward a contract. This is a negotiation, and I think both sides will use pressure points in a negotiation. Dillon and Eakin are hoping they will be missed if the contracts are not done by Sept. 19 and the Stars are hoping some youngsters will step up and maybe put pressure on Dillon and Eakin. This happened with Jamie Benn a couple of years back, and it's just part of the business.

As we've discussed ad nauseum over the summer, the only negotiating tactic at both players' disposal is to hold out during training camp; when they aren't there next week in Fort Worth, it's important to remember that this is just the business side of the game playing itself out and not some sort of overarching statement by either player.

There's no doubting just how important both players will be to the team next season -- Eakin as the third-line center and Dillon as a top four defenseman -- but there's also the fact that the team will be able to take advantage of their predetermined absence to give more playing time to younger players fighting for a spot in the NHL.

Radek Faksa, Scott Glennie and even Travis Morin could take advantage of that open spot during preseason games to help solidify their spot in the depth chart, while any number of the young defensemen clawing at the NHL will be glad for the extra minutes in camp and the games. It's a situation that is unfortunate in regards to their absence but -- as long as they are eventually signed -- not a scenario that is entirely detrimental to the Stars.

And that's where the staring contest comes into play. The players are using a hold out as a negotiation tactic to "force" the Stars to need them to return as soon as possible as they see just how needed they actually are; on the flip side, the Stars will try and show that one of the younger players could certainly step up and fill in their absence and they won't be as missed as the players think they will be.

As far as what contract terms are likely, it still seems as if both Eakin and Dillon are caught in the middle of a few different comparables and situations. Eakin likely wants to get paid as a young top-six forward with two-way ability, such as Zack Kassian or Alex Killorn -- while the Stars now see him as a young third-line center after the addition of Jason Spezza.

There's also the four-year, $8 million contract given to Antoine Roussel and how Eakin likely feels he deserves the same or more.

For Dillon, it's even tougher given his skill set and career so far in the NHL. I've shamelessly stolen these numbers gathered by BigG44 at HF Boards, which are good comparables to show for Dillon:

Dillon Tanev Orlov de Haan Brodie Barrie
Games 80 64 54 51 81 64
Goals 6 6 3 3 4 13
Assists 11 11 8 13 27 25
Points 17 17 11 16 31 38
PPG 0.21 0.27 0.2 0.31 0.38 0.59
PIM 86 8 19 30 20 20
PPG 0 0 0 1 1 4
SHG 2 1 0 0 0 0
GWG 1 2 0 1 2 5
Shots 97 65 59 71 104 101
TOI 21:05 (3rd) 20:44 (5th) 19:35 (4th) 21:01 (3rd) 24:03 (2nd) 18:32 (5th)
SH TOI 2:23 (3rd) 3:00 (2nd) 0:22 (8th) 1:38 (5th) 1:57 (3rd) 0:05 (8th)
PP TOI 0:07 (6th) 0:12 (6th) 0:13 (4th) 1:15 (4th) 1:46 (4th) 2:47 (1st)
Hits 168 25 75 114 58 50
BS 149 136 62 104 130 57
Career Totals
Games 129 156 119 52 185 106
Goals 9 8 6 3 8 15
Assists 16 19 25 13 51 36
Points 25 27 31 16 59 51
PPG 0.19 0.17 0.26 0.31 0.32 0.48
Term N/A 1 2 3 2 2
Salary N/A $2 $2 $1.97 $2.13 $2.60

Dillon is obviously the more physical and "defensive" of this group, while capable of still producing offensively. It's unlikely Dillon will get paid as much as Barrie, except if the Stars are looking for a longer-term contract, and it's clear that right around $2 million per year is what fits Dillon best.

Just over a week until the Stars are in Fort Worth for training camp, but it's unlikely for either of Eakin or Dillon to be there. And that's...okay.

For now.