- Stars GM Jim Nill recently told reporters, including Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News, that they tendered a contract offer to pending UFA winger Michael Raffl although it clearly hasn’t been accepted. The 33-year-old managed just 16 points in 76 games this season despite averaging 14:32 per game of ice time so it’s likely that offer came in below the $1.1MM he made in 2021-22. As a depth player, it’s possible he could have an eye on returning overseas to finish off his playing career.
After injuries forced him into retirement during the 2021-22 season, it was clear Ben Bishop wouldn’t suit up for the Dallas Stars again. This month, the final year of his $4.9MM average annual value contract was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for salary cap relief entering 2022-23. While not part of the Dallas organization anymore on paper, Bishop has expressed interest in returning to the team in a front-office role, said general manager Jim Nill.
[Bishop] would like to get into some type of management position. His resume, how he conducts himself, he’s a well-spoken man, got a passion for the game. He’d like to continue to be in the game. We’re having some discussions with him about different positions, start to get his feet wet and see what comes of it.
It’s evident that Bishop wants to have a long career within the sport, and he’d apparently like to start it with the team that gave his career a second wind after being shipped out of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in favor of Andrei Vasilevskiy.
He could learn on the job from another former high-end Dallas netminder — Marty Turco. After a nine-season stretch with the Stars, Turco has joined the team as a senior advisor in the past few seasons.
The Dallas Stars have a new head coach with a long-term contract, after signing Pete DeBoer to a four-year deal this week. That raised some questions about the contracts of the rest of the leadership group, including general manager Jim Nill who has just one year left on his deal.
June 21: The team has now officially announced DeBoer as the next head coach of the Stars. While the team did not release financial information or term, LeBrun reports that it is a four-year deal worth $4.25MM per season.
General manager Jim Nill released the following statement:
Pete brings a wealth of experience to our dressing room, and we’re thrilled to name him our next head coach. Every team that he has taken over has not only shown immediate improvement but has been ultra-competitive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has taken five teams to the Conference Finals, and two of those to the Stanley Cup Final, in his 14 years as a head coach. His resume displays the high standards he sets and his ability to get his team to play up to that level consistently. We’re excited to welcome Pete and his family to Dallas.
June 19: A pair of coaching vacancies have been filled in recent days with Vegas and Philadelphia finding their new bench bosses. It appears Dallas is on the verge of doing the same as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that the Stars are expected to name Peter DeBoer as their new head coach. ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski adds (Twitter link) that an official announcement is not expected to come tonight with Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic notes (Twitter link) contract terms are still being discussed.
DeBoer was a fairly late entrant into the coaching market this spring as Vegas waited a couple of weeks before making the decision to part ways with him. He had a pretty successful run with the Golden Knights he led the team to a 98-50-12 record in 160 regular season games, good for a .650 points percentage. Vegas also had two good playoff runs with him at the helm as they went 22-17 over that stretch. However, it was the fact that they didn’t make it to the postseason that resulted in his departure with Bruce Cassidy taking over that job on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Stars have been on the lookout for their next bench boss for the past month after the team and Rick Bowness mutually agreed to part ways with their assistant coaches also departing. Dallas finished in the top Wild Card spot in 2021-22 (four points ahead of Vegas) and gave Calgary a pretty good run in the first round before ultimately falling in seven games which led to them changing things up.
The fact that the Stars are looking for a win-now coach doesn’t come as much of a surprise as they largely have a veteran core in place with a team that’s built more for the present than the future. Under Bowness, Dallas has consistently been one of the stronger defensive teams in the league but they have also found themselves in the bottom half of the league offensively with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn both taking considerable steps back in recent years. Considering both are on the books at a high price tag ($9.5MM for Benn, $9.85MM for Seguin), finding a coach that can coax more out of them offensively would certainly help their chances moving forward.
Dallas GM Jim Nill feels DeBoer is the coach that can bring out more offensive production without drastically compromising their defensive principles. There is some recent cause for optimism on that front based on his time with the Golden Knights as Vegas was in the top half of the NHL in both goals scored and allowed in each of his three seasons with them.
DeBoer sits 27th all-time in games coached at 1,015 and is 26th in wins with 513 and assuming this contract becomes official, he’ll have a chance to improve those numbers on a Stars team that should once again be in the playoff mix in 2022-23. He’ll become the fifth different head coach for Dallas since 2013 when Jim Nill took over with the others being Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock, Jim Montgomery, and Bowness.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The last time Adam Mascherin played in North America, he scored 34 points in 37 games and wore an “A” as an alternate captain for the Texas Stars. For now, that will remain his most recent campaign, as the young forward has signed a multi-year contract with Asiago, who has joined the ICEHL for 2022-23.
Mascherin, 24, will be with the club through 2025, a deal that means his NHL rights–still currently owned by the Dallas Stars after they issued him a qualifying offer in 2021–will expire and he will be an unrestricted free agent when this deal is complete.
Originally selected 38th overall by the Florida Panthers in 2016, Mascherin never signed with them and re-entered the draft two years later. This time he was picked 100th overall by the Dallas Stars, and quickly signed his entry-level contract. In his three years with the organization, he played exclusively in the AHL with Texas, racking up 40 goals and 89 points in 142 games.
Last season, he decided to head to Europe where he played for Skelleftea AIK in the SHL, scoring seven goals in 15 games. Those offensive skills will now be taken to a league that is even less competitive, which could very well result in Mascherin being one of the top scorers in the ICEHL. As for the Stars, his rights will be lost when he turns 27, which he will do on June 6, 2025, a few weeks before free agency opens.
While there has been a stated mutual desire for the Stars and John Klingberg to work out a contract extension, Pierre LeBrun reported in his latest column for The Athletic (subscription link) that there have been no recent discussions on that front and that the current expectation is that the defenseman will test the open market next month. The 29-year-old has been one of the more consistent offensive producers in the NHL; over his eight-year career, only seven blueliners have more points than him over that stretch. Klingberg is coming off a bargain seven-year deal that carried just a $4.25MM AAV and earlier reports suggested he was looking to nearly double that on a max-term agreement. At this point, if he’s going to get that type of contract, it seems unlikely it will be coming from Dallas.
As the 2022 event cycle begins to come to a close, aside from the postponed 2022 World Juniors set to take place in August, national team organizations begin to look to the 2023 calendar. Today, Hockey Canada named their rosters for the National Men’s Junior Team summer development camp, as well as the National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp.
The National Men’s Junior Team roster is comprised of talent from the 2021 NHL Draft, as well as the upcoming 2022 and 2023 NHL Drafts. Among the top NHL-affiliated talent attending the camp is Chicago Blackhawks D Nolan Allan, Columbus Blue Jackets D Corson Ceulemans, Dallas Stars F Wyatt Johnston, Los Angeles Kings D Brandt Clarke, Nashville Predators F Zachary L’Heureux, New Jersey Devils F Chase Stillman, New York Rangers F Brennan Othmann, St. Louis Blues F Zachary Bolduc, and Vegas Golden Knights F Zach Dean. Clarke was notably snubbed from the 2022 World Juniors roster.
In terms of 2022 eligibles to watch at selection camp, the list is as follows: F Luca Del Bel Belluz, F Jagger Firkus, F Nathan Gaucher, F Conor Geekie, F Ryan Greene, F Tucker Robertson, F Matthew Savoie, F Reid Schaefer, D Kevin Korchinski, D Christian Kyrou, D Tristan Luneau, D Denton Mateychuk, D Owen Pickering, G Tyler Brennan, G Chase Coward, and G Thomas Milic. Forwards Nate Danielson and Adam Fantilli also made the camp roster as 2023 eligible. Really, the only 2022 top-ten lock from that list is Savoie, but Geekie, Korchinski, and Mateychuk are also names that could work their way into the first selections.
The U18 roster is made up of 2023 and 2024 eligible players, and it’s highlighted by a trio of 2023 forwards: Zachary Benson, Matthew Wood, and Brayden Yager.
A few months ago, many would have identified the Edmonton Oilers as a team with coaching uncertainty heading into the offseason after they fired Dave Tippett mid-season. However, after their run to the Western Conference Final this year, Jay Woodcroft would appear to have earned the confidence of the team and fanbase to continue in his role. TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting today that Woodcroft and the Oilers continue to have ongoing discussions about a new contract this week, although there’s still more to be done.
With the Oilers yet to be linked publicly to any other coaching free agents, it’s becoming clear that the team prefers to retain Woodcroft as their head coach. It’s important to note that Woodcroft was fully named the head coach when he took over for Tippett; he was not given the interim title. Woodcroft led the Oilers on a 26-9-3 run to end the regular season in addition to their playoff run.
- One team that isn’t having such a smooth time with their coaching hiring process is the Dallas Stars. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting that potential candidates are hesitant to commit to the Stars given the fact that general manager Jim Nill only has one year left on his deal. It’s understandable that when a coach commits long-term, they’d like to have a solid idea of the team’s vision for the future. With Nill’s future uncertain, Dallas’ new coach won’t have that guarantee.
- The Stars will be playing in two neutral-site preseason games come September and October. On October 1, they’ll be facing off against the St. Louis Blues at Cable Dahmer Arena in Kansas City, home of the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks. Before that, though, they’ll be playing the Arizona Coyotes in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on September 27, as previously announced. It marks a return to normalcy for the NHL’s regular-season preparations.
An intriguing youngster has re-upped his contract with the Dallas Stars. The team has signed forward Fredrik Karlstrom to a one-year, two-way contract extension for the 2022-23 season. Financial terms are unavailable at this time.
A native of Stockholm, the 24-year-old forward was Dallas’ third-round (90th overall) selection in the 2016 draft. After signing his entry-level contract in 2020, the team loaned him back to the SHL’s Växjö Lakers, where he netted five goals and 10 points in 14 games en route to the league championship. He came over to North America for the first time this season, playing in three games with the Stars and getting his first NHL assist on April 21, 2022, in a game against the Calgary Flames. The two-way center prospect also had 16 goals, 13 assists, and 29 points in 65 games with AHL Texas.
Karlstrom will likely return to Texas again for the most part next season but has shown that he’s an option for an NHL call-up. A stronger AHL season in 2022-23 could force the organization to pencil him in as a candidate for a bottom-six role full-time in the NHL moving forward.
Now that all but two NHL clubs have begun their offseasons, more and more teams are getting their summer work done early. Earlier today the Predators extended their mid-season trade acquisition, Jeremy Lauzon, and now their central division rival, the Dallas Stars, have also announced an extension, theirs for depth winger Nicholas Caamano. The extension is a one-year, two-way contract.
The exact financial terms of the contract have not yet been revealed but Caamano, who was set to be a restricted free agent, was due for a qualifying offer of $787,500, so it’s likely that the number for this contract is around there.
Caamano, 23, was drafted in the fifth round in 2016 and has developed nicely since that point. He’s a big winger standing at six-foot-three, 200 pounds, and plays a bit faster than his size would indicate. While there’s not a ton of offense to his game, and he had only one point in 24 NHL games last season to go along with 14 points in 47 AHL games this year, his style is definitely one that plays better in a bottom-six role regardless of if he’s playing in Dallas or Cedar Park. That is why, despite the lack of production in his time as a professional, the Stars deemed him worth keeping around for next season.
Caamano did flash some offensive upside in his final two seasons of junior hockey, where he had 121 points in 131 games. Also, his 23 points in 36 games at the AHL level in 2019-20 indicates that he might have just a little bit more scoring ability than he’s shown so far. NHL teams are always looking for players who are Caamano’s size and can score, so signing this one-year extension offers Caamano an (admittedly long-shot) opportunity to prove he can become what so many teams desire and give more to his team than just his grit and physicality.