We've hit that time of the summer where hockey news slows to a crawl, but Stars general manager Jim Nill still has plenty of items on his agenda. Among them is working on a contract extension for center Tyler Seguin, who will be in the final year of his current deal worth $5.75 million per season in 2018-19.
Nill said the talks are moving along.
[MIKE HEIKA: It could take patience, but positive signs are there for a Tyler Seguin contract extension]
"We've had continued dialogue," Nill said. "They've got where they think they should be and we've presented where we think we should be, and we just continue to discuss."
The Stars GM said the negotiation is a complicated process, more than just nailing down a contract length and reaching an agreement on the amount of money.
Video: MIN@DAL: Seguin scores his 40th goal of the season
"There are a lot of different things that go into this. There are signing bonuses, lockout protections," Nill said. "There are a lot of different angles to these negotiations that come into play. We're just continuing the dialogue and going from there."
So, can the two sides reach a deal before the season begins?
"I hope so. But I think I have mentioned from Day 1 that I don't want people to panic if he is not signed when the season starts," Nill said. "I think the biggest thing is we need to have a good season -- get off to a good start. I hope he is signed by then, but I know if he isn't, we'll get a good year out of him and go from there. But like I said, I am hopeful we can get it done. We'll have to see."
So, stay tuned.
'A lot of dialogue still' on trade front
It's been a few weeks now since the Stars were in the middle of all those Erik Karlsson trade rumors, but the chatter has died down for now. There hasn't been much at all in the rumor mill lately, but Nill said talks with teams about possible moves continue. Involving what, he won't say. But he does have his eyes and ears open for deals to improve the team.
"I can't name things, but there is still lots out there," Nill said. "We're talking to teams. There is still a lot of movement happening within the business. I can't say there is anything happening overnight, but there is a lot of dialogue still."
So, time will tell, and if time goes to show that there is no deal to be made, Nill said he is content to go with what he has right now.
Video: Bogorad on why 'the countdown to October is on'
"Yes, I was just talking to Jim Montgomery, and we are," Nill said. "You take away the last 20 games last year, and it was a pretty good team. Now you are adding [Valeri] Nichushkin, [Miro] Heiskanen, [Anton] Khudobin is the backup goaltender, added Blake Comeau to it. We've added good pieces to it.
"People think every summer you are going to add two or three high-end guys, but the system doesn't allow that. Last year, we were one of the teams everyone was talking about when we added [Alexander] Radulov, [Martin] Hanzal, [Ben] Bishop, [Marc] Methot. Last year we made the big push with who we added and this year we are lucky to have a Nichushkin coming back, who is entering the prime of his career, and Heiskanen coming in, who is one of the best young players in the world not in the NHL.
"I like our depth. Our young guys had a great run in Texas (AHL), and they are going to be better for it. Now, let's put it all together and see where it goes."
Hanzal skating, expected to return late November/early December
Stars center Martin Hanzal, who underwent spinal fusion surgery in March, has started skating. If all goes well, the Stars expect Hanzal to be ready to play sometime in late November or early December.
"We knew all along it was going to be sometime around November, that it was going to be late November or early December," Nill said. "I am hoping we are in a situation where we don't have to rush him back."
Video: DAL@DET: Hanzal cleans up in front to pad lead
Injury issues, including the back, limited Hanzal to just 38 games last season. He started skating about two weeks ago but is still limited in what he can do and has a long road ahead.
"He's feeling good. He can't do any shooting motions and that, but he is skating and doing light workouts with no pain, so that's a very good sign," Nill said. "He's totally functioning, but he just can't do any heavy lifting right now, any heavy lifting or torque to his body. He's just got to let the bone heal."
The Stars announced the signing of restricted free agent Mattias Janmark to a one-year, $2.3 million contract on Wednesday. Janmark is coming off a strong 2017-18 campaign that saw him tally 34 points (19 goals, 15 assists) in 81 games after missing the entire previous season due to a genetic disorder, Osteochondritis Dissecans, that required surgery on his knee.
There was talk of a longer deal for Janmark, who had filed for arbitration, but the two sides settled on one year, giving him a chance to put together another good season and then the two sides can discuss a long-term deal the next time around.
"It was going to be a one-year or a three- or four-year deal, and we had some good discussions on both," Nill said. "Last year, we didn't know where it was going to go (with Janmark coming off the knee injury), nobody did. He actually had a very good year. I think this year with the way our team is going to play, we've got Val coming back and (Janmark) and (Jason Spezza) played well together as a line. I think there is even more opportunity there for him now that he's healthy.
Video: TBL@DAL: Janmark ties the game in the final seconds
"Go have a good year, one year from being an (unrestricted) free agent, and get rewarded for it."
With Janmark signed, the Stars have only one restricted free agent left. That is forward Gemel Smith, who has filed for arbitration.
Nill said it appears that Smith and the Stars could be headed to an arbitration hearing and if that happens, the case will be heard Wednesday, Aug. 1.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.
Read more: Tyler Seguin, Martin Hanzal, Mattias Janmark, Dallas Stars