The Dallas Stars’ last two outstanding free agent negotiations of this summer are major ones. Two of the team’s young cornerstone talents, Jake Oettinger and Jason Robertson, are restricted free agents. The team would likely prefer to lock both players down to long-term contracts, but their cap situation may prohibit them from doing so. The Stars have $10.3MM in salary cap space remaining, which is more than many other teams can boast but also likely not enough to get both players’ signatures on long-term pacts. The result of this salary cap challenge has been slow-moving talks between Oettinger and the Stars specifically.
Per The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf, talks between the Stars and Oettinger have, per his sources, “gone nowhere.” Oettinger’s camp has reportedly remained entirely flexible on the term he’d be willing to accept, but on the AAV side “won’t settle for something they deem to be unfair relative to the market that has already been set.” As Yousuf mentions (subscription link) the lack of ideal contract comparables has made ironing out a deal difficult. While Oettinger is still overwhelmingly likely to be signed and ready to start for Dallas in time for next season, this development is certainly not an encouraging one.
Now, for some other news from across hockey:
- USA Hockey has announced its captains for the upcoming World Junior Championship. Minnesota Wild prospect Brock Faber, who was acquired by the team as part of the Kevin Fiala trade earlier this summer, was named the team’s captain. Chicago Blackhawks prospect Landon Slaggert and San Jose Sharks prospect Thomas Bordeleau were named alternate captains.
- St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko had a great season last year, scoring 34 goals and 82 points. But despite those strong numbers, he may not be in St. Louis to stay. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen stated in a recent mailbag that he has “no reason” to suspect that Tarasenko’s trade request from last summer was ever rescinded, although he also did state that the Blues have no interest in dealing him. Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest recently reported that the Blues never asked Tarasenko to waive his no-trade protection as part of an offer for Matthew Tkachuk, and despite a possibly still-active trade request it is likely that Tarasenko spends another season in St. Louis.