If you thought the shattering loss of John Klingberg was the price the Dallas Stars had to pay to keep a couple of talented youngsters, you might well ask what the hell is up with Jake Oettinger’s continuing status as a restricted free agent. Wasn’t the money they weren’t willing to pay Klinger intended, in part, to ensure Otter would be a Star for a very long time?
Well, as it turns out, it’s never that simple. The Athletic‘s Saad Yousuf took a long look at what the team is trying to balance, and available cap space may be the least of it. For one example, like his draft classmate Jason Robertson, Oettinger has very few age-and-performance comparables among his fellow NHL players, with only the Philadelphia Flyers’ Carter Hart and the Vancouver Canucks’ Thatcher Demko in the same room:
Oettinger has 25 fewer regular season starts to his name than Hart did when he signed his deal last summer but he’s essentially the same age and coming off of a much better season and postseason. Hart’s $3.979 million is not the only data point, but given the parallels in age and production, Hart is viewed as a starting point for what Oettinger deserves.
If $3.979 million is the baseline, how high does Oettinger’s number go? Midway through the 2020-21 season, Vancouver handed fellow American goaltender Thatcher Demko a five-year, $25 million deal for a $5 million AAV. At the time Demko signed his deal, he was older than Oettinger today (25 to 23), had a smaller sample size (59 starts to 70 starts) and had lower career statistics (.911 save percentage and 2.92 GAA to .913 save percentage and 2.46 GAA).
So where do the contract talks go while Otter spends his summer in Minnesota? It depends on how far each side presses their advantage – and whether they’re willing to play chicken with the rest of the league:
While both sides would like to reach a resolution as soon as possible, the Stars are in no rush. Training camp begins in a month and a half and the season begins in a little over two months. Those are the primary pressure points at which deadlines could lead to a deal. Until then, there isn’t much urgency. However, that doesn’t mean the timeline is unimportant. Because of the Stars’ cap situation and Robertson’s looming contract, there is potential for another wrench to be thrown into the mix, and that is the possibility of an offer sheet.
Offer sheets are a rare occurrence in the NHL but so is the supply of talented 23-year-old goaltenders who have shown potential to be franchise cornerstones. If Robertson’s deal gets done first, it would give any interested teams a firm number as to how high they need to go in order to put the Stars in a bind. At that point, the Stars would be forced to offload player(s) in order to create cap space to keep Oettinger.
There’s much more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
From Dave’s mouth to DeBoer’s ears…?
Around The Leagues
OK, here’s a simple breakdown of the Florida Panthers – Calgary Flames trade that is eating Twitter alive right now. Discuss. [NHL]
The Florida Panthers received:
Matthew Tkachuk (8 year contract extension worth $76 Million Dollars)
The Calgary Flames received:
Jonathan Huberdeau (8 year contract extension worth $84 Million Dollars)
1st Round Draft Pick
Who won the trade?
— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) August 5, 2022
Meanwhile, Shayna Goldman does the sums behind some current fan-fantasy transactions (not just those that sound like them).
The Matthew Tkachuk trade was so exciting because few times do we see trades of that caliber in the NHL.
So, did it spark some creativity?
We asked for your best trade proposals, and @hayyyshayyy pick some fun ones to analyze ⤵️https://t.co/OchVWj607P
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) August 5, 2022
He’s a center, not a defender – but Justin Robidas is looking to follow his famous dad into the NHL.
And now there’s even more money involved. The Hockey Canada story continues to metastasize.
Canada’s 13 regional hockey federations are threatening to withhold dues payments from Hockey Canada in light of the organization’s alleged mishandling of sexual assault allegations in 2018 https://t.co/eJnekLwXCc
– Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) August 5, 2022
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars are still getting work done, bringing in former University of Massachusetts-Lowell standout Ryan Dmowski to help shore up the forward corps.
New Friend Alert
We have signed forward Ryan Dmowski to a one-year AHL contract through the 2022-23 season! Welcome to Texas, Ryan!
— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) August 4, 2022
You read the question. Discuss.