It hasn’t gotten nasty like the Ryan Johansen situation in Columbus, but the Dallas Stars have not one, but two, key restricted free agents — forward Cody Eakin and d-man Brenden Dillon — who are still without contracts as training camps get set to open.
From the Dallas Morning News:
Stars GM Jim Nill said the lines of dialogue are open with Eakin and Dillon, but that there has been no recent progress. Both players are natives of Canada, so they will have to apply for work visas after the contracts are signed, and that could also slow their transition into the lineup.
Dillon is working out in Vancouver and Eakin in Winnipeg. They both have the same agent, Jarrett Bousquet, who works out of Frisco. That could be helpful in getting the deals done.
“We have an open line of communication and everyone wants to do what’s best for the players,” said Bousquet. “It’s time to start playing hockey, and I know the players want to be out there.”
Eakin, 23, finished with 35 points in 2013-14, tied for fourth among all Stars.
Dillon, 23, logged 21:05 of ice time per game, the third most on the team.
So these are not insignificant players we’re talking about here.
Oh, and the Stars don’t have the easiest start to the regular season either…
Chances are that deals for each player will be reached before the opener versus the Blackhawks. Certainly, there’s no indication that any of the two are as far apart from the Stars as the Blue Jackets and Johansen’s camp are apart.
Still, a situation worth watching.