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Stars re-sign Neal, Niskanen to two-year deals

Thursday, 09.16.2010 / 7:54 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

NHL.com

With training camp opening Friday, the Dallas Stars took care of some last-minute business, agreeing to new contracts with a pair of restricted free agents.
 
Left wing James Neal signed a two-year, $5.75 million contract. The deal will see Neal, 23, earn $2.25 million this season and $3.5 million in 2011-12. Defenseman Matt Niskanen agreed to a two-year, $3 million deal. He'll make $1.25 million this season, $1.75 million next season.
 
In his second NHL season, the 23-year-old Neal set career highs with 27 goals, 28 assists and 55 points. A 2005 second-round, Neal has 51 goals and 92 points in 155 games.
 
Niskanen, 23, had 3 goals and 15 points in 74 games last season. The Stars' 2005 first-round pick (No. 28) led the team's blueliners in scoring in 2008-09 with 6 goals, 29 assists and 35 points. In three seasons, Niskanen has 16 goals and 76 points in 232 games.

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday