The Dallas Stars have re-signed one of their blueline stalwarts to the tune of a 6 year, 34.8 million contract – what does this mean for the organization and their offseason strategy?
The first big news of the Dallas Stars Offseason arrived rather promptly early on Thursday morning.
Looks like Esa Lindell will be calling Big D home for the considerable future after inking his name to a new 6 year extension worth $34.8 million, with an $5.8M AAV. After an incredible year – one in which Esa set career highs in goals (11) and assists (21) – the 24-year-old defenseman will now be sporting victory green through the 2024-2025 season.
This was an expected, yet fantastic development in the Dallas Stars offseason plan, as Lindell was set to become an arbitration eligible restricted free agent after the 2018-2019 season.
Jim Nill taking immediate initiative on #23’s contract shows just how valuable Esa is to the franchise. Often overshadowed by the headlines of silky smooth John Klingberg and no-longer-rookie-sensation Miro Heiskanen, Lindell proved to be a lockdown defender behind the scenes. No doubts were cast upon his future from within the organization, however – and has since been rewarded with a lucrative extension he very much deserves.
Looking at data provided by CapFriendly, the Stars now have an estimated $12,490,001 in cap space after the new deal. This is definitely not the final number Dallas will be working with because Martin Hanzal is still on the books for $4,750,000 and forwards Mattias Janmark, Brett Ritchie, and Jason Dickinson have RFA still pinned to their name. Time will tell how these players are handled – but this first domino could prove a clue towards the organizational blueprint.
Dallas looks to boast a strong blueline next year. As of now, the Dallas Stars now have five defensemen under contract for 2019-2020, not including Julius Honka’s RFA situation: John Klingberg, Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, Jamie Oleksiak, and Stephan Johns will all be wearing victory green next year. A very solid group, these 5 are poised to improve line chemistry as they build upon a successful 2018.
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As per normal at this stage in the offseason, there are still many personnel questions yet to be answered. Jim Nill must decide if he will be a Zucc-Keeper, and if there are any free agency developments worth exploring, among others. With Jason Spezza likely leaving for another squad, there are still a few storylines left to follow pertaining to the forward group.
With so many variables yet to be determined, the Dallas Stars made a clear statement a week after the 2018-2019 season came to a close: Esa Lindell is a cornerstone player worth keeping around for the long-term.
The Dallas Stars now have three exceptional young defensemen at their disposal for the foreseeable future – all of them manning a blueline that figures to contend among the upper ranks of NHL defenses. Lindell will now look to put together many prolific campaigns in Dallas as the team continues to build a sustainable contender for years to come.
With #23 in the cards, Big D can rest assured knowing one more great player will skate on their ice.
Congratulations, Esa. All of your hard work to this point has paid off, and now you can live the lavish lifestyle most dream about.
Enjoy your offseason. Can’t wait to see you in our rink for 6 more seasons.
- Published on 05/17/2019 at 11:30 AM
- Last updated at 05/17/2019 at 06:58 AM