Oettinger signs Bridge Deal with Stars

After a rookie playoff run for the ages, Jake Oettinger signs up for three years as the Dallas Stars number one netminder.

Ever patient Dallas Stars fans were rewarded on the first day of September with the signing of Jake Oettinger to a three year bridge deal with a Cap Hit of $4 million.

The deal takes Oettinger up to his last year as a restricted free agent, and also to a point where several large contracts for Dallas come off the books. In addition, if Oettinger’s performance continues to improve, it sets him up for a significant deal in both salary and term at a point where the NHL salary cap is no longer flat.

There was some concern that the Stars were going into the last month of summer with Oettinger and Jason Robertson - both major contributors to the team while still in the early twenties - as unsigned restricted free agents. Assuming no movement in the Dallas roster, this leaves just over $7 million of annual Cap Space to get a deal done with Robertson.

Unlike last year, when four different goaltenders were under contract, and potentially competing for the starting job, the signing of Oettinger leaves the team with a clear number one.

There are still some outstanding questions about how the Stars handle their other netminders under contract. Most likely, Scott Wedgewood will start the season as the backup in Dallas, with Anton Khudobin beginning the season in Cedar Park (assuming that he’s healthy and doesn’t end up starting the season on injured reserve). That does leave the Stars with over $2 million in buried Cap Hit for Khudobin. With the Texas Stars, Khudobin should get a few starts, mixing in with Adam Scheel and Matt Murray. Remi Poirier likely starts the season in Boise with the Idaho Steelheads.

With a known number as available Cap Space, and only a single contract left to be signed, the dollars available to sign Robertson are pretty set in stone. Term will be the question, but expect that to work itself out well before the start of training camp in three weeks.