It appears that Ryan Suter has found his next team as ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports (Twitter link) that the Stars are closing in on a multi-year contract with the veteran. TSN’s Darren Dreger clarifies (via Twitter) that it will be a four-year deal with an AAV around the mid-$3MM range; Sportsnet’s Eric Engels pegs the specific price tag (Twitter link) at $3.625MM.
The 36-year-old was bought out of the final four years of his contract by Minnesota earlier this month and will be paid $833K over the next eight years not to play for them. As a result of the buyout, he was free to openly negotiate with teams over the past few days although no agreement could be made official until the opening of the free agent period. And with the structure of his original deal being heavily front-loaded, he will wind up making more money than he would have by sticking with the Wild which isn’t typically the case for players that get bought out.
In his prime, Suter was a legitimate number one defenseman but he has slowed down over the past couple of seasons. His offensive output dipped from 48 points to just 19 last season while his average ice time dropped by nearly two and a half minutes per game to 22:11 per game. Having said that, that type of production and ice time is still worthy of a top-four spot on the back end for many teams. It’s an ideal landing spot for Suter in that sense as Miro Heiskanen is locked into the top-pairing spot on the left side which allows Suter to slot comfortably onto that second pairing alongside one of Esa Lindell or John Klingberg.
Dallas had less than $6MM in cap room heading into the day, per CapFriendly, with Joel Kiviranta needing a new deal as a restricted free agent. Accordingly, unless they can free up some money in a trade, this may be their only big move of the day.