The Dallas Stars have made a big splash early into the opening day of free agency, signing defenceman Ryan Suter to a four-year deal with a cap hit of $3.65 million.
Suter, 36, will be making a lot of money going forward as he was just recently bought out of his deal by the Minnesota Wild that still had four seasons remaining with a cap hit of $7,538,462 million. His buyout came as a pretty big surprise given that he is still a very capable NHL defenceman, and he should help the Stars in a big way going forward.
While his offence has gone down from what it once was, Suter is still capable of playing big minutes as he averaged north of 22 minutes on a very good Wild team this past season, while chipping in with 19 points in 56 games. Just one season prior he was able to accumulate a very impressive 48 points in 69 games, so perhaps a change in scenery can help bring back that offence.
For the Stars, they were in need of improvement after missing the playoffs entirely last season, just one year removed from going all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. While injuries played a part in their struggles in 2020-21, their blueline simply wasn’t good enough and their general manger Jim Nill was able to land one of the bigger free agents on the back end in Suter.
This likely won’t be the last addition the Stars make to their blueline, which lost a very solid player in Jamie Oleksiak to the Seattle Kraken last week. As of now, they have Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, John Klingberg, Andrej Sekera, Joel Hanley and Suter under contract for the 2021-22 season. That is a very solid blueline, but one they will likely look to add a little more depth to going forward.
With this signing, along with having guys like Tyler Seguin healthy and ready to go, Stars fans should be quite excited for the 2021-22 campaign. It truly wouldn’t be a surprise whatsoever to see them be able to go on a deep playoff run similar to the 2020 postseason.