As per Sean Shapiro of The Athletic (subscription required), the Dallas Stars are going to have to work under much tighter purse strings than the rest of the NHL teams already handcuffed by a flat salary cap for the 2020-21 season. Shapiro reports that thanks to bonus overages the team has hit, it is expected the Stars will be working under a cap that is more likely around $78.5 million, not $81.5 million.
Related: Sekera Signs 2-Yr Extension With Dallas Stars
As a result, he writes, “That’s likely going to lead to some potential major movement in the coming days.”
The Stars incurred $3.047 million in performance bonuses. That will count against the 2020-21 salary cap unless the team chooses to split that penalty over the 2020-21 season and the 2021-22 season. Reports from Stars assistant GM Mark Janko, is that the team will not split the penalty and will instead take the entire hit this coming season.
The reason for the overages were 1) Corey Perry earned $1.5 million in bonuses for regular season games played and because the team qualifying for the playoffs 2) Andrej Sekera earned $385,366 in performance bonuses for the same reasons 3) Denis Gurianov earned a $212,500 bonus for scoring 20 goals in the regular season, 4) Miro Heiskanen netted $850,000 in bonuses for hitting four of the schedule A bonuses on his entry-level deal.
In the case of Perry, he also earned another $100,000 after the Stars won the Western Conference final against the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Stars now have a roster of 18 players set to earn $68.2 million, leaving only $10.3 million to fill out the remaining roster. With that money, somehow the team needs to figure out how to bring back Gurianov, Anton Khudobin, Roope Hintz and Radek Faksa. It doesn’t seem likely.
Since the Stars have notified Khudobin they want him to return and it will cost somewhere between $3.5 and $4 million per season, that leaves around $6 million for everyone else. As a result, expect some big moves to come out of the organization.
Related: Stars and Khudobin Working to Get Goaltender Re-Signed, Deal Close
What Could the Stars Be Working On?
There have been plenty of rumors Dallas is looking to move a larger contract. This seems like a foregone conclusion now.
Is this the writing on the wall for players like Andrew Cogliano, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov or Joe Pavelski? Not likely as all have no-trade or no-move clauses. Cogliano and his $3.25 million hit could go because his clause includes a six-team no-trade list window. Radulov has a modified no-trade clause in which he can submit a 15-team no-trade list.
On the blue line is where Dallas might make some changes (or, at least be forced to). The Stars certainly don’t want to move either player, but neither John Klingberg or Esa Lindell have trade protection.
As for what the Stars may be forced to do…
The team will likely make next-to-no splash in free agency and it appears Corey Perry’s time in Dallas is done. He could sign for the league minimum but there are likely teams willing to give him a bit more than that.
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