Wild West: Off-Season Plans by Team – Part Two

Grant Campbell

2021-07-19

There was a lot of excitement with the pre-expansion roster freeze on Saturday with nine trades conducted in the 48 hours before. I wouldn't have predicted Ryan Ellis being traded or Cody Glass, but we should always expect the unexpected in the NHL. We will look at the remaining teams in the West which will be Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver, Vegas and Winnipeg. All salary cap projections are by Alex Maclean.

Dallas Stars (missed the playoffs after losing in the Finals in 2019-2020)

The Stars were busy on Saturday by trading Jason Dickinson to the Vancouver Canucks for a 3rd round pick in 2021. It is better to get a draft pick in return than nothing from Seattle and they did well to get the 73rd overall pick. Miro Heiskanen re-signed for eight years at $8.45 million AAV which might have wider implications with the future contracts of Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes. With most teams leaning towards bridge contracts, the Heiskanen deal caught a few people by surprise at the length. Heiskanen will be 29 years old at the end of the deal, so I doubt there will be much regret for Dallas towards the end of it unless his play falls off a cliff.

With the Dickinson trade and the Heiskanen contract, the Stars now have just over $5.8 million of salary-cap space for next season. Ben Bishop has waived his NMC and has $4.92 million in cap space which if moved would give Dallas just over $10.7 million of space.

Unrestricted free agents are Andrew Cogliano ($0.83 million), Justin Dowling, Jamie Oleksiak ($3.24 million), Sami Vatanen ($2.16 million) and Mark Pysyk. Restricted free agents are Joel Kiviranta ($1.2 million) and Nicholas Caamano ($0.75 million). The team will need to add one or two forwards with the loss of Dickinson and perhaps Tanner Kero in the expansion draft. From within, the team c