After trading a conditional 6th round draft pick to the Ottawa Senators the Dallas Stars finally agreed this weekend to a deal with defensemen Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar signed a surprisingly hefty 2 yr/$10M contract to finish his career in Dallas. The Stars “new” defenseman is 39yrs old but still playing pretty good hockey. The new highest-paid defensemen on the team should fit in fine as a great on-ice leader as well as a key player.
In 2013 Gonchar finished 12th in points (27) and 5th in assists (24) for all NHL defensemen. According to DMN Mike Hiekia, who first broke the story, Stars management sees him as the #1 defenseman on the otherwise young team and will serve as a power-play quarterback (where he has thrived throughout his career).
Signing a near 40 year old is something that may give most teams pause but not the Stars who in recent years signed the aged Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jager to decent degree of success. What’s most interesting is this is one of GM Jim Nill’s first moves with the club and it seems somewhat consistent with the moves of the past regime.
The reason 2 yrs for $10M appears like a gamble because the money is guaranteed and a 2 year contract on a 40 year old isn’t easy to trade. Regardless, the Stars feel confident in the move and finally feel they have that #1 defenseman they’ve been searching for.
More to come on this signing…
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