The Stars are bringing back Patrick Eaves for a second season in Dallas.
On Wednesday, the club and Eaves agreed to a one-year, $1.15 million deal, per the Dallas Morning News. The new contract comes after Eaves had a solid first season with the Stars, scoring 14 goals and 27 points in just 47 games (missing time with foot and ankle injuries).
The former Senator, Red Wing, Hurricane and Predator had fallen on tough times with healh issues and ineffectiveness over the last five years, so his bounce-back in ’14-15 was a pleasant surprise for Dallas.
GM Jim Nill took a low-risk flier on Eaves in free agency last year — inking the veteran to a $650,000 deal — and the move paid off, as Eaves matched the second-highest goal total of his career (the most he’s scored since 2006-07.)
Kari Lehtonen ranked eighth among goaltenders in total minutes last season while Antti Niemi was ninth. If everything goes according to plan, neither of them will be in the top-10 next season and that’s something the 31-year-old Finnish goaltenders are comfortable with.
“My year was disappointing, so I want to fix that, and I’m open to doing anything I can to do that,” Lehtonen said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We are adults and we are older in our careers, so I think we can work through anything that comes up. Goalies have a certain friendship and Antti and I are friends, and I think that helps a great deal.”
He added that he thinks he plays better when rested, so he sees the advantage to his playing time being reduced.
Niemi was obviously aware of the situation before inking a three-year, $13.5 million contract on Monday, so it’s no surprise that he’s open to it. He did point out though that this will provide him with more time to recover between starts and work with goalie coach Jeff Reese.
It should help that the duo is familiar with each other. Lehtonen still remembers splitting ice time with Niemi for a game when they were both 10 years old. Much more recently, they were roommates during the 2014 Winter Olympics.
This will be an expensive experiment for Dallas as the two netminders have a combined $10.4 million annual cap hit for the next three seasons. That means the Stars will be paying more for its goaltending than even the New York Rangers, which carry the current cap hit leader among netminders in Henrik Lundqvist ($8.5 million annually).
Agent Jarrett Bousquet has revealed that the San Jose Sharks have inked a five-year deal with his client, Brenden Dillon.
The financial terms of the deal weren’t immediately known, but he’s coming off of a one-year, $1.25 million deal.
Update: Dillon’s contract is worth roughly $15.9 million per CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz.
The 24-year-old defenseman had 10 points and 77 penalty minutes in 80 games with the Stars and Sharks in 2014-15. He also averaged 19:34 minutes per contest. He started the season with Dallas but was moved in November in exchange for Jason Demers and a 2016 third-round pick.
Although he was never drafted, Dillon signed an entry-level contract with Dallas in 2011 and became a regular with the team during the lockout shortened 2013 campaign, so he’s already a veteran of 209 contests.
Dillon is projected to join Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, and Mirco Mueller on the blueline next season, leaving the door open for the Sharks to acquire another defenseman via the trade or free agent market to round out their top-six.
Related: Report: San Jose interested in acquiring Bieksa