The Dallas Stars begin their 2021-2022 campaign at Madison Square Garden. This is the final year that some Stars players have in victory green. The front office has salary cap problems at the end of this year. General Manager Jim Nill has some tough decisions to make throughout the season. Lots of players need contract extensions or they could head somewhere else to play. Lots of talented players will become Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) if left unsigned. The offseason is still eight months away so there is still time to enjoy the current team.
The Stars will head to NYC as they start against the New York Rangers on Oct. 14. The season and playoffs ends eight months after that. There is lots of time to think about the offseason ahead. This particular challenge is not around the corner. Pavelski, Radulov, Klingberg, Michael Raffl, Blake Comeau, Andrej Sekera, and Braden Holtby are all UFAs at season’s end. This means they need a contract or will head somewhere else. Their play this year will help determine how much money they get offered.
The Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) will garner contract negotiations too. Jason Robertson and Denis Gurianov also need new contracts after 2021-2022. If Robertson has another season like in 2021, he can expect the big bucks coming his way. Robertson has high expectations for this season. He’ll have plenty of time to prove himself for a big contract.
Robertson shows no signs of slowing down. He recorded 45 points in 51 games as a rookie. He was 2nd in Calder Trophy voting behind Kirill Kaprizov as the league’s top rookie. The Minnesota Wild inked Kaprizov to a staggering 5-year $45 million deal at age 24. Robertson will command some major dollars if the Stars wish to re-sign him. Gurianov is also looking to have a contract year as a pending RFA.
Grizzled Veterans Lead the Way
Age is not an issue as the Stars are going for a more veteran approach. They are the 2nd oldest team in the NHL with an average age of 29.7 years. Only the Washington Capitals are older at 29.8 years. Pavelski, Radulov, and Comeau are in their upper 30s. These players still continue to produce good numbers. Pavelski lead the team in points last year. Radulov scored 12 points in 11 games played. This year could be their last in victory green.
The Salary Cap Problem
The Stars are already floating around the edge of the salary cap. They cannot afford this same team next year. This means that players may go to another team for the 2022-2023 season. The Stars currently have a cap space of $0. It looks like some players are playing in their final year with the Stars.
The salary cap is a problem for the 2022 offseason. The Stars need to re-sign players while also acquiring more cap space. They cannot afford to lose players like Robertson and Klingberg to free agency. Stars fans need to enjoy the current club because the same players could head elsewhere. With salary cap problems, they have some work to do coming up.
The next offseason is over eight months away. In conclusion, Sit back and relax during this season because the offseason is a long way away.
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars Twitter