The Dallas Stars have completed a bit of business, signing Tanner Kero to a two-year, two-way contract extension. Scheduled for unrestricted free agency, he will now remain with the organization through the 2022-23 season. PuckPedia reports that the deal will carry a cap hit of $750K at the NHL level but includes strong minor league guarantees.
Not only does the contract keep a valuable depth forward in the mix, but Kero also meets the exposure requirements for the upcoming expansion draft. Every team must expose at least two forwards that are both signed through 2021-22 and meet a games played requirement. Before Kero’s signing, only Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, Alexander Radulov, Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz, and Denis Gurianov met those two requirements, not leaving many options for exposure to Seattle.
Kero does meet them, because of how many games he played for the team this season. Despite not seeing any NHL action in the 2018-19 or 2019-20 seasons, the 28-year-old played in 39 games for the Stars this year, registering ten points. He may not get that many chances moving forward, but having a player with more than 100 games of NHL experience waiting in the wings is a valuable asset.
If the Stars want to send Kero to the minor leagues next season he would need to pass through waivers, though that doesn’t seem like a problem. The veteran forward cleared three times this season.