Canadiens lose Radulov to Stars, replace him with Hemsky

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The Dallas Stars continued to load up this offseason by signing one of the top free agent forwards available, Alexander Radulov, to a five-year contract worth $6.25 million per season.

The $31.25 million price tag is the largest contract signed in free agency this summer.

Radulov is the latest big-ticket acquisition to join the Stars this summer, joining goaltender Ben Bishop, center Martin Hanzal and defenseman Marc Methot.

He will be joining a roster that already boasts Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza up front and should help improve an offense that significantly regressed last season. Radulov spent the 2016-17 season playing Montreal in his return to the NHL and was an immediate impact player. He was able to turn that one-year deal into a long-term contract with Dallas.

For the Canadiens, it leaves a pretty big hole in their lineup as Radulov was one of their best forwards all season.

They attempted to fill that spot by signing former Stars forward Ales Hemsky to a one-year contract that will pay him $1 million this season.

After being reasonably healthy for three consecutive seasons, Hemsky’s injury issues returned last season and limited him to just 15 games. He is still a talented playmaker when healthy, but that is always the key with Hemsky. It is a relatively low-risk deal for the Canadiens with some upside, but it still looks to be a pretty significant downgrade up front.