Several teams are already engaged in franchise-altering decisions throughout this Free Agency period. None more so than the Calgary Flames, who have lost both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. One team yet to make their big moves are the Dallas Stars. They signed some players but it is now week #2 on the Jake Oettinger and Jason Robertson signing watch. These two players are the future of this franchise and letting them go via offer sheet is unacceptable. The Stars still have north of $11 million to play with so get them signed.
Who saw this coming? Both Tkachuk and Gaudreau are gone from the Flames. Their two leading scorers from last season are headed out east to Florida and Columbus. The rumor mill circled briefly that the Stars were favorites to acquire Tkachuk. Apparently, the cost was way too high for Jim Nill. It was unlikely the Stars could get Tkachuk while keeping Oettinger and Robertson.
Robertson’s 41 goals this year were the most in a Stars season since Mike Modano in 1994. Robertson was a team-best +16. Oettinger had an unbelievable First Round performance against the Flames, allowing only 14 goals in 7 games. Their value increased dramatically last season. Signing them will take a big chunk out of the remaining cap space.
Future of the Franchise
The 2017 NHL Draft changed this team. Getting Heiskanen, Oettinger, and Robertson is paying off in dividends. Letting Oettinger and Robertson get offer sheeted by another team can’t happen. Stars fans have been waiting for players to build a Stanley Cup-winning team around and they are it. The Stars have the wiggle room as they are bottom 5 in spent cap space. Playing the waiting game is taking a while.
Re-signing these players is the last big step in Stars’ Free Agency. It’s the worst-case scenario if they go to another team. Oettinger and Robertson are players you build your team around. They can lead this franchise to a much-needed Stanley Cup.