Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Stars’ Offseason Juggling Act

To become a champion, first you must manage the cap. Plus, highlights (and low) from the NHL Awards, last call for first-round draft predictions, and more.

The Dallas Stars’ offseason begins in earnest this weekend with the 2019 NHL Draft. But it’s just the beginning of a balancing act intended to propel the team to the next level – if they can keep a lot of moving parts working together.

As Sean Shapiro points out, “there’s a reason NHL teams have someone dedicated to managing the salary cap on a daily basis.” Take the case of peak performer Miro Heiskanen, who just earned his fourth and final entry-level bonus by getting named to the 2019 All-Rookie team:

Heiskanen’s salary is $894,166 for 2019-20 and 2020-21, but his cap hit could be as high as $3,394,166 if he hits all of his Schedule A and Schedule B bonuses.

Heiskanen’s Schedule A bonuses are maxed out at $850,000 per season, and he hit that mark this season. Schedule B only comes into play with major awards like the Norris Trophy or the Conn Smythe. While Heiskanen hitting a schedule B would likely mean very good things for the Stars, they realistically only have to worry about Schedule A while Heiskanen is still on his entry-level contract. The Stars also need to plan as if Heiskanen could cost an extra $850,000 against the cap in each of the next two seasons.

The juggling gets even more complicated when long-term injured reserve (LTIR) comes into play. Martin Hanzal’s current and future health will almost certainly prohibit his return to the NHL. But that doesn’t mean the Stars can count on his entire $4.75 million cap hit, especially when those potential bonuses come into play:

This actually happened last season when the Stars weren’t able to call up Denis Gurianov in one instance with LTIR in use. Gurianov’s cap hit, based on his salary, is $894,166. But the full potential value cap hit was $1,644,166 since he has performance bonuses in his deal. There simply wasn’t enough space to recall the Russian at $1.64 million.

A player like Joel L’Esperance doesn’t have any performance bonuses in his deal, so his salary and face value cap hit are the same at $722,500. He is also waiver-exempt, so he’s the type of player the Stars could ideally “paper” to the minors if they are planning on using LTIR right away.

Sean explains a lot more in his full post. [The Athletic DFW]

And as a peak-performance coda...

Stars Stuff

As a sort of consolation prize for not getting the Vezina Trophy, Ben Bishop...didn’t get named to the First All-Star Team.

But he is in good company.

Fortunately, Stars fans can comfort their hurt with enough social-media salt to de-ice 100,000 driveways. Here’s a small sample.

....Too soon?

Bish also got a pinch of league-MVP love, so there’s that.

Around The League(s)

Just a few more precious hours to place your bets on the first round. Scott Wheeler has a few things to watch.

There’s nothing like dueling high draft picks to goose a regional rivalry, as Greg Wyshynski points out.

What happens if the new salary cap turns out to be less than the $83 million currently projected? Stephen Whyno looks at the potential haves and have-nots in this scenario.

Robin Lehner won the Masterton Memorial Trophy for sharing his battle with depression, bipolar disorder and addiction. He also had the most memorable acceptance speech.

Corey Hirsch, who knows a thing or two about this kind of fight, gave his own review.

And Chel revealed the new face of the franchise. Does this make Auston Matthews the official face of American hockey as well?

Was it Goalie Night? Carey Price provided another heartwarming moment as he reunited with a young friend.

The Anaheim Ducks have bought out veteran forward Corey Perry. What’s next for the former MVP and famous pesky irritant?


Fortunately, the Stars won big in the NHL Fan Choice Awards...

Best Bromance: Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn

Top Team Video: This untoppable classic of honking 8-bit super-action

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"Dallas is home." -@tseguin92

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And Best Halloween Costume: Ben Bishop, happy at last. Enjoy.