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Dallas Stars and Jake Oettinger Reportedly at a Contract Standstill

Jake Oettinger’s contract negotiations with the Dallas Stars have reportedly stalled for three reasons.

Dallas Stars’ goaltender Jake Oettinger is one of the biggest names on the free agent market that has yet to sign a contract. He’s 23 years old, and had a very successful season in which he made history in Game 7 of the first round of the NHL playoffs against the Calgary Flames. His 64 saves in overtime were the second most saves in NHL history for Game 7’s, and he also set a franchise record with it. In addition, he was also ranked 10th-best in the league last season with a 30-15-1 record and a 2.53 GAA.

The Stars know they have their goalie of the future, yet they are dragging their feet on an extension. Saad Yousef of The Athletic is reporting three reasons: caution on the Stars’ side, the AAV (Average Annual Value) for a contract, and Jason Robertson needing a contract extension. (from ‘Jake Oettinger’s contract: What are the sticking points with the Dallas Stars?’ – The AthleticNHL – 08/05/2022)

Contract Holdup Explanations

When it comes to the Stars’ caution, Yousef said they want to ensure they are not overreacting to his playoff performance or two regular seasons with a new deal. This is because he has 77 NHL games under his belt and the Calgary series was his first playoff experience.

Related: NHL Trade Talk Podcast – Ep. 7: Huberdeau’s Huge Deal, Bratt, Oettinger…

Regarding 23-year-old Robertson, he was the Calder Trophy finalist in 2021 and has been the second-best scoring leader on the Stars behind Joe Pavelski for the last two seasons. He had a career-high 41 goals, 38 assists, 79 points, and was a plus-16 in 74 games last season. Understandably, the Stars want to make sure that they have money to keep him around as he is a restricted free agent, and with only $11 million in cap space, that is tough to navigate.

Lastly, the most crucial aspect is the AAV, as it is in any contract negotiation. Yousef reported that there aren’t many goalie contracts comparable to Oettinger’s career. The closest they can get is Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltender Carter Hart, who signed a three-year, 11.9 million contract ($3.979 million AAV) just shy of his 23rd birthday. The difference is he had 95 NHL games before getting his deal.

Jake Oettinger Dallas Stars goaltender
Jake Oettinger Dallas Stars goaltender

Yousef tied the whole scenario together, stating:

“If the Stars met Oettinger’s camp at their minimum desired price point [$4 million to $5 million AAV], it would leave the team a little over $7 million to sign Robertson. That could still be enough to get Robertson signed on a bridge deal but barring a hometown discount, a long-term deal would require north of $8 million. Oettinger’s camp is understanding of the Stars’ cap situation, including the opportunity to potentially cash in in 2025, but that won’t result in a steep discount.

It seems like out of all the reasons the Stars are taking their time, Robertson is their most significant factor. It doesn’t appear they’ll feel comfortable offering Oettinger the contract he is looking for until they know where they stand with Roberston. There is hope for him re-signing as the report said Oettinger’s camp is open to being flexible with the contract term. Both sides want him to remain with the team. It’s just a matter of general manager Jim Nill figuring out the best way to manage their salary cap.

Next: Predicting a Point-a-Game Season for Maple Leafs’ John Tavares

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