For an offseason, it’s been a hectic week in the NHL and for the Stars.
First up was the announcement that Miro Heiskanen signed a massive new contract. The 8-year/$67.6 million contract is the third richest in Stars history. Only Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have larger contracts. It’s also the richest ever signed by a Finnish player in the NHL.
While everyone expected an upgrade for the young Finnish phenom, the length of the contract was still a surprise. While a sizeable chunk of change, the contract will likely look like a bargain when the cap increases in a few years.
It seems like Heiskanen valued long-term security and his place in Dallas above the likely huge payroll that signing a bridge contract now would have garnered in 3 years or so.
Jim Nill said Miro Heiskanen made it clear in his exit interviews that he wanted to be a Dallas Star and he wanted a long-term deal. Views Dallas as his home.
— Brien Rea (@BrienRea) July 17, 2021
A little while later came the announcement that the Stars had traded Jason Dickinson to the Vancouver Canucks. The Stars received a third-round pick. Dickinson has long been a fan-favorite among Stars fans. Dickinson is a versatile player and was an important voice in the Stars’ wider commitment to community initiatives. Dickinson also achieved notoriety for his ability to get hit in the face seemingly every single game. Stars fans will be sad to see Dicky go, but he would likely have lost to Seattle in the expansion draft. Clearly, the Stars took the view that getting something for Dickinson was better than nothing. The team also leaves the Kraken slim pickings in the expansion draft.
Late on Saturday was the deadline for the expansion draft protection lists. The only real surprise from the Stars end was that Ben Bishop had waived his NMC, allowing his exposure and the Stars to protect Anton Khudobin. Other than Bishop, the Stars have little of their core exposed in the draft. Adam Mascherin and Nick Caamano are two better prospects exposed, but neither are players the Stars can’t afford to lose. While Bishop will be a tantalizing prospect for the Kraken, the draft is heavy with excellent goaltenders, including Stanley Cup winners in Carey Price and Braden Holtby. Whether the Kraken chose to bite will depend very much on the long-term prognosis for Bishop (and indeed others, including Price).
After the frenetic activity over the weekend, there is a pause in off-season activity until Wednesday. There is a trade freeze until the expansion draft takes place. The entry draft follows the Expansion draft on Friday. It seems likely, however, that the next couple of weeks will be lively when it comes to the structure of the team next season.
Various trade rumors, including Klingberg to Columbus for Jones, are out there, and the status of various free agents, including Jamie Oleksiak yet to be decided.
Teams are still talking with one another ahead of the NHL Draft this Fri/Sat (freeze lifts Thurs at 1pm ET). One item I keep hearing, as noted in my piece today on TFP, is Dallas remains very interested in Seth Jones. There's some chatter John Klingberg's part of discussions.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 19, 2021
Featured Image: SHABAN ATHUMAN/TNS