It is a season of change, and many National Hockey League fans expected specific modifications on different rosters ahead of the next season. However, today's NHL buyout report will surely disappoint a few.
One team that was expected to make significant changes to its roster after an embarrassing season was the Dallas Stars. Sure, they got new head coach Jim Montgomery on board and ready to put the Stars back in a contending position, but one veteran name's was expected to be cast aside this summer.
Well, not so fast...
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports that though his name had been mentioned repeatedly as the NHL first buyout window approached, Jason Spezza will not be bought out by the team and instead play out the final year of his contract. The buyout window opened Friday, and with Spezza’s $7.5M cap hit many had thought the Stars would jump on the chance to rid his deal.
Spezza registered only eight goals and 18 assists across 78 games last season while serving predominantly as the Stars' third-line center. Things got worse on top of that. Once a 90-point player in his prime back with the Ottawa Senators, Spezza even ended up with duties on the fourth line, struggling to find his offensive power.
It however seems that the veteran forward has convinced his team's management at the last second, proving he plays an important role for a Dallas club lacking depth up the middle.
Spezza may be getting another chance with the Stars, who will count on new coaching staff under Jim Montgomery and Todd Nelson to give the veteran centreman to get every opportunity to be an important part of the team and prove his worth.
The Stars are making a logical decision by not buying out Spezza's contract. While they could have saved $5MM cap reduction this season, it would keep $2.5M on their books for the 2019-20 season, there is another contract on their mind. Dallas needs to have every penny available to re-sign star forward Tyler Seguin, who eligible for an extension as of July 1.
Using some of the cap space on Spezza would have been an obstacle for the Stars in Seguin's situation.
Let's hope for them Spezza can bounce back this season and make their decision worthwhile.