Adam Cracknell will be in Texas for at least one more year, as the Dallas Stars have inked him to a one-year extension worth $675K. The 31-year old forward was set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
Cracknell made his return to the Stars lineup on Monday after missing three weeks with a leg injury. This season has already seen him suit up for more games than he ever has in a single year, playing in 53 contests for Dallas and contributing 10 points. Playing just over 10 minutes a night he’s provided a physical presence to the Stars’ fourth-line without taking many penalties.
While this is a well deserved deal for a player who has performed well enough this season, it also provides Dallas with a little bit of expansion draft certainty. Cracknell fills one of the required two forwards that are signed through next year and have played at least 40 games this season (or 70 the past two combined). With the Stars likely wanting to protect Tyler Seguin, Antoine Roussel and Cody Eakin, they’ll need to extend another one of their upcoming free agents to fill the exposure requirements. Curtis McKenzie seems like the obvious choice, as though Brett Ritchie and Radek Faksa both would qualify, the pair will likely deserve protection.
Deals like this will be common over the next few months, as teams make sure their rosters are as expansion-proof as possible. With the Stars, they may end up losing a prospect either way as they currently have too many players—likely at forward and defense—to protect. They would be a likely candidate for a deal with Las Vegas to select a certain player from their roster.
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