2010 NHL Free Agency: Stars sign Nicklas Grossman to two-year, $3.25M extension

grossmanblocksshot.jpgWhile the team still needs to figure out James Neal’s contract situation, the Dallas Stars solved their other big restricted free agent problem by signing Nicklas Grossman to a two-year, $3.25 million contract according to the team. He’ll be paid $1.5 million in 10-11 and $1.75 million in 11-12.

Here is more from the Stars’ press release.

“We are very happy to sign Nicklas to this new contract,” said Nieuwendyk. “He is a solid NHL defenseman and is an important part of our young core.”

Grossman, 25, skated in 71 games for Dallas last season, collecting seven assists and 32 penalty minutes. He recorded 150 hits and 100 blocked shots in 2009-10. Grossman posted a career-high +5 rating Oct. 9, 2009 at Calgary.

The Stockholm, Sweden, native has appeared in 222 career NHL games, tallying 26 points (2g, 24a) and 109 penalty minutes. Grossman set new career highs in goals (2), assists (10) and points (12) in 2008-09. He also represented his country at the 2009 World Championships, helping Sweden win the bronze medal.

That’s a nice deal for Grossman, a single-minded defenseman who logged more than 19 minutes per game last season. If he puts up those kind of minutes, the Stars might not be in the greatest position from a big picture defensive standpoint, but they’ll certainly be getting their money’s worth.

This gives me the opportunity to say something about GM Joe Nieuwendyk’s work that I haven’t really been able to since he took over: nice job.

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    Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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    In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

    For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

    Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

    Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

    They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

    Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

    Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


    Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

    The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

    To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

    Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

    Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

    McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: