Stars owner ‘not concerned’ about Oettinger, Robertson deals

Posted: 31/08/2022 in NHL
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Dallas Stars‘ training camp starts in less than one month, but the team still hasn’t signed key restricted free-agent phenoms Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger.

Team owner Tom Gaglardi wouldn’t describe either deal as particularly close to getting done, saying that’s just “the way the cookie crumbles.”

“You’re an RFA, there’s really no deadline, there’s no hurry, and that’s kind of how things go,” he said during a recent appearance on “The Cam & Strick Podcast.”

He added, “These RFA deals will often sit and wait, that’s kind of the nature of it. … We’ve got the cap space sitting, waiting for these guys. And so no, we’re not concerned about it.

“It’s finding the right fit, it’ll be finding the right number and the right term. … Those conversations are happening, I can’t tell you that a deal is imminent, but maybe one of them is more imminent, I don’t know.”

Robertson paced the team with 41 goals – including 28 at even strength – in 74 contests and a sterling 1.07 points per game rate. His productive pop is welcome on a Stars team that’s struggled to fill the net consistently in recent seasons.

Oettinger, meanwhile, convincingly emerged as Dallas’ bona fide No. 1 in net this past season amid the team’s flurry of injuries in the crease. He logged a 30-15-1 record with a .914 save percentage during the regular season before dazzling in the postseason. Oettinger authored a .954 save percentage and 1.81 goals against average en route to the Stars’ first-round loss to the Calgary Flames.

The Stars have just over $10 million in projected cap space, per CapFriendly.

Evolving Hockey projects Robertson to sign a six-year pact with a cap hit of $7.856 million, while Oettinger is projected to ink a three-year deal worth $4.907 million annually.

Gaglardi said he doesn’t like teams’ tendency to hand out big paydays once players’ entry-level contracts expire.

“A kid in the third year of his entry-level (deal) puts up 40 goals and now he wants to make $7 million,” he said. “If you want term with that player, he’s going to take you higher than that. … The stars are taking all the money, and the guys in the middle are getting squeezed.”

He added, “I think there’s a lot of players in the league making a million dollars who are better players, and then the guys who can put the puck in the net are getting too big a piece of the pie. … I don’t like it, but that’s the market, and that’s the way it works.”

The Stars finished fourth in the Central Division with a 46-30-6 record and made the playoffs after failing to qualify in the 2020-21 campaign.

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