The Dallas Stars and free agency: Trying to make sense of it all

As the Dallas Stars fight for a playoff spot during the final weeks of the regular season, a few things have become extremely obvious. The Dallas Stars have some tremendous young talent on their team.

Whether you’re talking about Jason Robertson, Miro Heiskanen, Denis Gurianov, Roope Hintz, Jake Oettinger, there are lots of talented players on this team. The oldest player on that list is Hintz at 25. I know the season is still going on and this is not something that has to be thought about at the moment but somehow the Dallas Stars have to figure out how to keep everyone in victory green.

Can the Dallas Stars keep all this talent?

Miro Heiskanen signed a long-term contract last season that will keep him around through the end of the 2027 season. Obviously when talking about production, Robertson and Hintz have been the most productive when it comes to goal scoring. Robertson has 36 while Hintz has 34. Those two are also in the top three in points when you add in their assists. The only player with more points on the season is line mate Joe Pavelski.

Robertson is the best bang-for-your-buck player. The 22 year old is only making $795,000 this year according to Cap Friendly. That’s the second lowest among forwards and third lowest on the team. Oettinger is making $925,000. Gurianov is making $2.55 million. I bring those three up because they are all restricted free agents after this season.

Other restricted free agents include Marian Studenic and Fredrick Karlstrom. Now I’m not sure about everyone on this list but the Dallas Stars have to be thinking they need to sign Robertson to a long-term deal, right? Last year he was in the running for the rookie of the year award. This season, he is leading the team in goal scoring.

Oettinger is a tricky one in my opinion. If you believe he is your long term answer at goal, then you lock him up. If you don’t, then you sign him for a year or two while you bring in other goalies. If you’re unsure you sign him for a year or two to find out.

What about some of the other youngsters? Roope Hintz is a restricted free agent after next season. He is getting paid just over $3 million per season. Like Robertson, though, I feel like this is a player you need to lock up going forward. Especially considering he is only 25 years old.

The problem is the top tier salary guys for the Dallas Stars. Dallas is currently paying Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn almost $10 million per season. Benn is signed through the 2025 season and Seguin is signed through the 2027 season.

Those two players make up nearly 25% of your cap space. Add in Miro’s contract that he just signed (8 years at $8.45 million per season) and you have roughly a third of your salary invested in three guys. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, necessarily. It does make it difficult to add Robertson, Hintz and others to those top tier salaries that they may think they deserve.

Again, I’m not a salary cap expert and have no idea how this all works out. I’m looking at numbers and trying to figure out how you can keep everybody on this roster going forward. The reality is you can’t. The bigger issue and/or question is can you keep the people you need to keep at higher salaries while trying to put comparable pieces around them to be competitive.

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I’m glad I’m not the one having to figure this out. As a fan, though, let’s figure out how to keep these young guys. They make this game fun to watch.a