Forward Antoine Roussel and the Dallas Stars agreed to a four-year contract Tuesday, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing just before it was scheduled to start. The Stars said the deal is worth $8 million, an average annual value of $2 million.
“We were getting ready to go in [to the hearing] and we started negotiating at that time,” Stars general manager Jim Nill told the Stars website. “We delayed the hearing for a while and went from there."
Roussel, 24, had 14 goals and 29 points in 81 games last season and was third in the NHL with 209 penalty minutes. He had three assists and 27 penalty minutes in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“He’s a big part of our team moving forward,” Nill said. “He plays the game the right way, he plays hard and he has a physical edge to him. He put up good points last year. I think his line with [Ryan] Garbutt and [Cody] Eakin, whether [coach] Lindy [Ruff] goes with that all the time, gives Lindy a really good line that can play against anybody. And it’s important that he is part of the team long term.”
Signed by the Stars as an undrafted free agent, Roussel has 21 goals, 43 points and 294 penalty minutes in 120 NHL games.