Tag: Dallas Stars

Ottawa Senators v Philadelphia Flyers

Sens’ Chiasson headed for arbitration

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The Ottawa Senators and restricted free agent Alex Chiasson are likely headed for arbitration.

“We’ll be filing (for arbitration) fairly shortly,” Chiasson’s agent Kent Hughes told PHT on Monday.

Chiasson’s three-year, $2.7 million entry-level deal is set to expire on Wednesday making him a restricted free agent.

“We’re far apart at this point and we don’t really see the arbitration case through the same lens,” said Hughes.

The 24-year-old, who was acquired by the Sens in the Jason Spezza trade, had 11 goals and 15 assists in 76 games during the 2014-15 season.

“We talk to them all the time, but they’re arbitration guys that, at the moment, want to go that direction,” Sens’ GM Bryan Murray said of Chiasson and Mike Hoffman last week. “If we’re not going to negotiate, then we have to prepare for that.”

Pricey Platoon? Stars reportedly sign Niemi for three years, $13.5M

Antti Niemi,

The Dallas Stars aren’t kidding about improving their goaltending situation, or at least throwing a ton of money at the problem.

GM Jim Nill handed Antti Niemi a three-year, $13.5 million contract on Monday, according to reporters including HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman. The CBC’s Tim Wharnsby adds that Niemi was handed a limited no-trade clause, as well.

Upon first impact, one would think that expensive Stars (former?) franchise goalie Kari Lehtonen might be out. After all, when you combine Lehtonen’s $5.9 million cap hit and Niemi’s reported $4.5 million mark, that’s a whopping $10.4 million in space devoted solely to goalies.

Publicly speaking, Nill insists that there will be a platoon situation in Dallas, so perhaps we’ll see a two-headed Finn monster? The Stars didn’t officially confirm the terms of the deal, but they released a statement on the signing.

“We acquired Antti’s rights with the expectation to get him signed and we’re thrilled to have come to an agreement this quickly,” Nill said. “This gives us two upper-echelon goaltenders and the quality of depth at that position will provide us a great chance to win on a nightly basis.”

If this sticks, it makes for an odd structure in Dallas. The Stars are enjoying crazy savings with Jamie Benn ($5.25 million cap hit) and Tyler Seguin (just $5.75 million), yet they’re spending big on their goalies and Jason Spezza. At the same time, their shaky-on-paper defense is at least cheap, if nothing else.

Some, erm, cynics aren’t smiling upon the move(s):

Pretty odd, but it’s the beginning of the summer, so we’ll see where the Stars go with things. For better or worse, they’re not standing idly by.

Also, a note for San Jose Sharks fans:

Even after flurry of trades, goalie market is far from settled

Antti Niemi

There were seven different trades over the course of Friday and Saturday that involved a goaltender, but even after that there are teams that still need to address their situation between the pipes. With the free agent period just around the corner and the trade market now in full swing, the pieces are likely to continue to fall into place rapidly. While we have a breather though, let’s take a look at where we stand.

Has Dallas addressed its goaltending needs?

Kari Lehtonen failed to live up to expectations last season so the Dallas Stars would naturally like to hedge their bets going forward. They’ve already taken a step towards that end by acquiring the rights to Antti Niemi from San Jose, but it remains to be seen if they can sign the netminder before he become an unrestricted free agent.

If they do sign Niemi, that might not settle their goaltending situation. He has spent the better part of his career serving as a starter and while his last two seasons haven’t been amazing, it’s likely that he’ll expect a significantly bigger salary than your typical backup. Which isn’t an issue by itself, but Dallas is still tied to Lehtonen for another three seasons at $5.9 million in cap space annually. That means Dallas will be dedicating a lot of its cap to goaltending and that’s something that may complicate matters for the squad unless it’s addressed.

What’s next for San Jose?

Meanwhile, San Jose still needs someone to work with Alex Stalock. The 27-year-old netminder had a 2.62 GAA and .902 save percentage in 22 games last season, so ideally the Sharks will want someone that can at least seriously challenge him for the starting job.

There are some noteworthy pending UFAs out there including Viktor Fasth, Karri Ramo, and Michal Neuvirth, but it’s also possible San Jose will make another trade.

“We’ve been exploring things for quite awhile, a lot of it in the trade market obviously,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told CSN Bay Area. “As we’ve looked at it, we think there’s probably more goalies than there are teams. There’s more people that are available or could be available in discussions than you guys probably hear about.”

Who will be Steve Mason’s backup in Philadelphia?

With Ray Emery’s contract set to expire, the Flyers are in the market for a backup goaltender. They didn’t want to take part in the flurry of goaltending trades though.

“I didn’t want to give up an asset for a backup, quite honestly,” Flyers GM Ron Hextall told CSN Philly. “Did I talk to anybody? People called and I found out the prices.”

With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Philadelphia find its number two netminder on the free agent market.

Anaheim has created something of a logjam

When the Anaheim Ducks acquired Anton Khudobin from Carolina, it led some to naturally wonder if 21-year-old goaltender John Gibson was on the block. Ducks GM Bob Murray’s response was not family friendly, but the short version of his answer is: No.

So we can only assume that this issue won’t be addressed this summer, which makes it unique among the goaltending situations discussed here. Even still, it is awkward as this likely means that Gibson will be expected to spend the 2015-16 campaign in the minors after posting a decent 2.60 GAA and .914 save percentage in 23 games with Anaheim last season. This might just be a short-term setback for him though as Khudobin only has a year left on his contract before he can test the unrestricted free agent market.