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Stars, Roussel Avoid Arbitration With Last Minute Deal

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars and forward Antoine Roussel avoided salary arbitration, agreeing on a four-year contract just as the hearing was scheduled to start Tuesday morning in Toronto.

“We were getting ready to go in [to the hearing] and we started negotiating at that time,” said Stars GM Jim Nill. “We delayed the hearing for a while and went from there.”

When the negotiating was done there was no longer a need for arbitration. The two sides had hammered out a deal that will pay Roussel $8 million over the next four years.

“It was a good process and it was kind of how negotiations go,” Nill said. “Christian Daigle (Roussel’s agent] was very good and Antoine was very good. I had Mark Janko (Stars director of hockey administration) with me and he did a great job. We had all our numbers mapped out. It was a good job by everybody.”

Roussel, signed by the Stars as a free agent in July 2012, played in 81 games last season and notched 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) and ranked third in the league with 209 penalty minutes.

“He’s a big part of our team moving forward,” said Nill. “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 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.”

Eakin, Dillon talks

With Antoine Roussel now under contract, the Stars have two roster players still left to be signed. Those two would be restricted free agents Cody Eakin and Brenden Dillon. Stars GM Jim Nill said there was nothing new in talks with either player.

“I am still waiting to hear from their agents,” Nill said. “I made an offer quite a while ago, and I just haven’t heard back. It’s just kind of the process you go through.”

The Stars also have to work out a deal with restricted free agent Scott Glennie, who played last season with the Texas Stars of the AHL.


*The NHL and NBC released the national TV schedule on Tuesday and the Stars are slated for four national appearances this season: January 4 at Chicago; February 22 at Minnesota; March 1 vs. Anaheim; April 8 at Anaheim. The start time of the January 4 game at Chicago has been changed to 7 pm CT from 6 pm CT to accommodate the national broadcast.

*The Stars will travel to Cedar Park in early October for a practice and scrimmage at the home of their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars. On October 3 they will hold a practice and then on October 4 there will be a scrimmage with the Texas Stars. More details will be released at a later date.

*GM Jim Nill said Tuesday that 2014 first round pick Julius Honka will play for the Stars at the 2014 NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan. That tournament will be held September 12-16. Honka will then attend Stars training camp, which begins September 19 in Fort Worth.

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 reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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