Jake Oettinger’s contract: What are the sticking points with the Dallas Stars?

In the last show of stars hockey Jake Oettinger He was the star of the show. There were ‘Welcome to the NHL’ moments – Standing on his head in Colorado on February 15 or Inducted into the future Hall of Fame Marc-Andre Fleury In Chicago on February 18 – but 954 savings percentage during a seven-game streak against her Calgary – And against two scorers out of 100 points during the confrontation against Vezina Final – I was The Introductory moment signature.

That performance couldn’t have come at a better time for Oettinger, who entered the Offseason as a restricted free agent due to a new contract. While Oettinger’s playoff performance has announced his arrival into the hockey world, there is still no new contract in place, and that could cause reasonable concern with a training camp set to open next month.

By all indications, there was little dialogue between the two sides, although each side made clear their feelings for the other. According to sources on both sides, Oettinger, who trusts his agents on the business side and is not directly involved in the negotiations, wants to stay with the stars. The stars, who traded in the first round of the 2017 draft to choose Oettinger, believe he is their future and have no reservations about Oettinger as a person.

What is causing the impasse, then?


One issue is the lack of comparable contracts. Among the top 40 goalkeepers in average annual values, ranging from Carry price10.5 million dollars for Kapo Kahkkonen$2.75 million, he was only one goalkeeper as young as Oettinger when he signed his contract. This goalkeeper is Carter Hart, who approved $11.9 million for three years (US$3.979 million) last summer, just days before his 23rd birthday. Oettinger turned 23 on December 18.

Hart had a larger sample size than Oettinger, starting 95 games in three seasons before getting his deal. In his first two seasons, he had 0.917 and .914 saving percentages while starting 30 and 40 games, respectively. However, in the season leading up to his contract last summer, Hart had a 0.877 save percentage in 25 starts during a 56-game season.

In 2020-21, Oettinger started 24 games as a rookie in his 56-game season and was the all-star goalkeeper with a save ratio of 0.911 and 2.36 goals against average. Despite being relegated to the AHL to start the season, Oettinger started in 46 games last season and made 0.914 saves, including stretches in which he performed as one of the best goalkeepers in the league. NHL And a big stretch late in the season as he was asked to carry the stars on his own due to the lack of options behind him. Follow that up with one of the great goal-scoring performances in NHL postseason history.

Oettinger has a regular 25 season starting under his name less than Hart when he signed his contract last summer but he’s basically the same age and coming out of a much better season and post-season. The $3.979 million Hart isn’t the only data point, but given the similarities in age and production, Hart is seen as a starting point for what Oettinger is worth.

If $3.979 million is the baseline, how high is Oettinger’s number? In the middle of the 2020-21 season, Vancouver He handed his fellow American goalkeeper Thatcher Demko Five-year deal worth $25 million for $5 million from AAV. At the time Demko signed his deal, he was larger than today’s Oettinger (25 to 23), had a smaller sample size (59 starts to 70 starts) and had lower job stats (0.911 savings ratio, 2.92 GAA to 0.913 savings ratio, and 2.46 GAA).

The 13 net-makers above the $5 million AAV mark are some of the most established players, many of whom have Stanley Cup and/or Vezina considerations. There were a number of other players that the Oettinger camp considered companies, but these two transactions from last year show a contract value of between $4 million and $5 million.

The stars have their own considerations that make meeting this price point somewhat difficult. The first is to cap their salaries. Dallas has $11.4 million in cover space but should match Oettinger and Jason Robertson, who dropped out of Calder Trophy’s runner-up season and a 40-goal season to start his NHL career. Robertson’s contract It will definitely be more expensive from Oettinger. According to one source, those negotiations faced their own obstacles.

If the stars meet Camp Oettinger at the bottom line asking price, he’ll leave the team just over $7 million to sign Robertson. That might be enough for Robertson to sign a bridge deal, but excluding the city’s opponent, the long-term deal would require $8 million. Eutinger’s camp is aware of the star cap setting, including the chance of potential profits in 2025, but that won’t lead to a huge discount.

Another factor for the stars is caution. Arguably more than any other position in hockey, the development path for goalkeepers can be strange. The junior season at Oettinger is a good example of this. Oettinger didn’t get any votes for Calder, but six goalkeepers did in the 2020-21 season. Of those six, four are no longer in the team they played with as a rookie, just two seasons ago. The other two players finished sixth in last season’s Vezina vote, including the winner in 2022 Igor Shesterkin. Despite the stars’ admiration for what they’ve seen from Oettinger thus far, they’re tasked with ensuring they don’t overreact to Calgary’s playoff series – or the overall sample size for two seasons, one of which has been cut short.

Where the stars’ cautious logic with Oettinger loses weight is that they have taken a cautious approach with Oettinger, arguably wrong, throughout his young career thus far. At every turn, Oettinger overtook their fears. Stars didn’t want Oettinger to play in the NHL in 2020-21 Ben BishopInjury condition and lack of other options forced them to. The team then wanted to protect Oettinger as No. 2 but Anton Khodubin’s struggles, combined with Oettinger’s NHL readiness, led to a bigger role as a starter.

Even though Oettinger has proven himself to be of NHL caliber, the stars still want to take him slowly. They signed a contract with Braden Holtby last summer, which unofficially relegated Oettinger to the AFC Champions League, where the season will officially start at the end. Once Holtby was injured and Khudobin’s ineffectiveness opened the door for Oettinger, he seized the opportunity.

In contract negotiations, the player and team often face each other. In situations like those with Oettinger and The Stars, there is a common intent. Oettinger wants to be the best goalkeeper he can be; The stars want the exact same thing. The notion that the franchise starved of a talented young goalkeeper and moved to pick one in the first round of the draft not wanting to make him succeed is a misplaced sentimentality. The stars and Oettinger simply approached things in different ways.

Dallas handled matters with caution and skepticism, while Oettinger handled matters with confidence. Oettinger’s confidence has so far held up on the ice. Now, the same dynamic is at play at the negotiating table.


Jake Oettinger. (Dennis Wirzbeck/USA Today)

Where do things go from here?

In any contract negotiation, there are two main sticking points: duration and AAV. A source said Eutinger’s camp is open when it comes to the semester. Oettinger wants to be in Dallas for the long-term and if a long-term deal can be done, great. If the numbers game leads to a shorter show, they’ll be open to that too. AAV is where there is no unconditional flexibility. With the star ceiling set, it is unlikely that the Oettinger camp will be able to get exactly what they want, but they will not accept something they consider unfair to the already established market.

The player in Oettinger’s position, as a restricted free agent without arbitration rights, is where the team has the most influence. A restricted free agent with arbitration rights or an unrestricted free agent are situations in which a player gains more influence over the team. However, Oettinger is the team’s number one goalkeeper and if the stars enter the season with him Scott Wedgwood And Khudobin as a duo, they would clearly be a worse team than if Oettinger was in the picture.

While both sides would like a solution to be found as soon as possible, the stars are in no hurry. Boot camp starts in a month and a half and the season starts in just over two months. These are the primary pressure points at which deadlines may lead to an agreement. Until then, there isn’t much urgency. However, this does not mean that the schedule is unimportant. With the star cap on and Robertson’s knot looming, there’s a chance that another wrench will be thrown into the mix, and that’s the prospect of a show sheet.

Paper shows are rare in the National Hockey League, but the same goes for the talented 23-year-old goalkeepers who have shown the potential to be the cornerstone of the franchise. If the Robertson deal goes through first, it will give any interested teams a fixed number as to how high they have to go in order to put the stars in a quandary. At this point, the stars will be forced to empty one player(s) in order to create a cover space to keep Oettinger.

While this sounds like a shady suggestion, a source in the Stars front office has not expressed any concern about potential bid papers with Oettinger. For example, the player also has to sign the bid sheet, and Oettinger has shown no indication that he is unhappy in Dallas. Second, the stars will have the opportunity to match, which they would have with any reasonable sign. The only way the team could really hold the Superstars back or make them consider a bounty return is if that team offered Oettinger more than $6.3 million in AAV (a first, second, and third-round compensation package) or more than $8.4 million in AAV (a compensation package). Selection of the second, second and third round).

One important realistic possibility to consider is a training camp. As noted, Oettinger doesn’t have much leverage in this situation, but rejection would be one way to put pressure on the stars.

Sometimes it only takes one major breaking point to spin things out in a negotiation. This point has not yet been reached between Oettinger and the stars. Oettinger has been business as usual off-season, preparing at home in Minnesota for the upcoming season while his camp takes over the business side.

(Top image by Jake Oettinger: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

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