It seems patience has paid dividends in Dallas.
After a relatively quiet summer from a negotiation standpoint, the Dallas Stars have finally agreed to terms with Jake Oettinger, signing the free-agent netminder to a three-year bridge contract worth $12 million.
His $4 million annual salary places Oettinger, a former first-round selection, in the mid-to-low end among NHL starters, with 24 netminders scheduled to earn more in the 2022-23 season.
It's possible that not a single player performed at a higher level with their postseason minutes than Oettinger, who was arguably the most valuable player of the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs — this despite Dallas's wild-card exit. He maintained a 1.81 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in a seven-game nip-tuck series with the Calgary Flames.
Oettinger was solid, too, in the regular season for the Stars, who officially transitioned away from the Ben Bishop era last season. He won 30 times in 48 appearances, while taking just 16 losses.
The contract, which runs through the 2024-25 season, will not carry Oettinger through until unrestricted free agency, which will give the Stars one more opportunity to sign the netminder long term.
Dallas has one more significant piece of business to tend to before the start of the season with restricted free agent and 40-goal scorer Jason Robertson still without a contract.
General manager Jim Nill has roughly $8 million to work with after agreeing to terms with Oettinger.
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