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Stars roster status, cap situation heading into free agency

Here’s a look at the Dallas Stars roster and salary cap status as NHL free agency is set to open on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Central Time.

The Stars have 21 likely roster players, 17 under contract and four restricted free agents. They still have $17.5 million in cap space by my calculations and some moves to make, including signing RFAs, filling some holes at forward and sorting out a surplus of defensemen. The current roster of likely NHL players includes ten forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders.

The table below isn’t a projected lineup with line combinations and defense pairings. It’s simply a positional chart showing players in their natural positions or where they’ve played the most recently.

There are only three centers listed but the Stars are deep at center. Devin Shore and Adam Cracknell spent significant time at center last season and Mattias Janmark is an option to play center if he is ready to go next season. The Stars have some depth down the middle in the organization as well in Jason Dickinson, Gemel Smith, and Justin Dowling.

The Stars are a little thin on the right side with only Brett Ritchie and Cracknell as the two natural right wings. Shore played there towards the end of the season. Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza have played there at times as well, but they are expected to be the one-two punch at center. The Stars could use some help on the right side but they could use some overall scoring punch at the wing on both sides, so that should be a focus as the they hit free agency.

Defense is another issue, but that’s due to that surplus. With the trade for Marc Methot, the Stars have nine right now, that’s too many, and something has to give on the backend. They’ve carried eight the past two years, but it’s not clear if they will do that again. They can’t carry nine. At least I don’t think they can carry nine.

With the buyout of Antti Niemi earlier this week, the Stars are set in goal with Kari Lehtonen.

All cap figures below are from

Left WingCenterRight Wing
Jamie Benn
Tyler Seguin
Brett Ritchie
Antoine Roussel
Jason Spezza
Adam Cracknell
Mattias Janmark
Radek Faksa
Devin Shore
Curtis McKenzie
Left Defense Right Defense
Marc Methot
 John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis
 Julius Honka
Esa Lindell
 Stephen Johns
Jamie Oleksiak
 Greg Pateryn
Patrik Nemeth
 Ben Bishop
 Kari Lehtonen
Forwards total: $27,695,000
Defensemen total: $17,488,333
Goaltenders total: 10,816,667
Roster cap total: $56,000,000
Buyouts: $1,500,000
Cap hit total: $57,500,000
Cap space: $17,500,000