The Dallas Stars are not a team you’ll usually see going through arbitration hearings – but life is full of surprises, and the Stars went through the process with center Gemel Smith on Wednesday, August 1st. Now, two days after the hearing, an arbitrator has awarded Smith a one-year, one-way contract worth $720,000. He was Dallas’ last RFA – internal shopping is now over.
Smith, who earned 11 points (6 goals) in 46 games during the 2017-2018 regular season, requested a one-year, one-way contract worth $900,000, with the Stars offering a two-way contract, with different pay rates for time in the NHL and the minors. Smith earned $650,000 last season.
The Stars had not gone through the arbitration process since 2014 with Antoine Roussel (gone but not forgotten), where he signed a new contract before the decision was finalized from the arbitrator. Prior to Smith’s case, the last time an arbitrator made the final decision for the Stars was in 2007 with Antti Miettinen.
Smith spent most of the past season as healthy scratch and bottom six minutes, with an average ice time of 9:26. While his analytic numbers have improved despite the low ice time, he will need to step up this season if he wants to continue in the NHL (and get a bigger contract when this one expires). We’ll see what coach Jim Montgomery has planned for him.
And now we just keep waiting for Seguin’s contract extension.