Stars open free agency by signing veterans Suter and Holtby

·3 min read

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Stars opened free agency Wednesday by signing three-time All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter and former Stanley Cup champion goaltender Braden Holtby, a pair of veterans recently bought out by their previous teams.

Suter got a $14.6 million, four-year deal from the Stars, who bring in the 36-year-old defenseman less than two weeks after making 22-year-old Miro Heiskanen one of the NHL's highest-paid defensemen with a $67.6 million, eight-year contract through the 2028-29 season.

“Ryan is a true professional and will be a great fit in our top-four,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said. “He has a huge influence on the game with his ability to defuse plays, which injects a sense of calmness into his teammates. He is able to play in every situation and as a veteran of 16 NHL seasons his wealth of experience will be a great addition to our dressing room.”

Dallas also Wednesday signed forward Luke Glendening to a $3 million, two-year contract after he had played all eight of his previous NHL seasons with Detroit. A pair of defensemen, Alexander Petrovic and Andreas Borgman, signed one-year, two-way contracts.

Since entering the NHL in 2005, Suter leads all defensemen with 1,198 games played and his 607 points are the fourth-most among defenders. He had 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) while averaging more than 22 minutes of ice team in 56 regular-season games last season for Minnesota, which after losing to Las Vegas in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs bought out the contracts of veterans Suter and Zach Parise.

The Stars missed the playoffs in the condensed 56-game season, after last summer making it to the Stanley Cup Finals inside the NHL bubble in Canada to end the 2019-20 season that was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holtby got a $2 million deal for next season after he was bought out by Vancouver. He adds to a Stars goaltender group that currently includes Anton Khudobin, Ben Bishop, and Jake Oettinger. Khudobin and Bishop are both signed for two more seasons, and Oettinger was their No. 2 goalie as a rookie when Bishop missed last season recovering from knee surgery.

“We’re looking forward to Braden giving us the elite goaltending that he’s shown he’s capable of throughout his career," Nill said. "He has won every major award a goaltender can win and we are thrilled that a person of his pedigree is joining our organization.”

The 31-year-old Holtby was 7-11-3 in 21 games last season for Vancouver. He spent the previous 10 seasons in Washington, where he was part of the Stanley Cup championship in 2018 and was a five-time All-Star. He was the Vezina Trophy winner in 2015-16.

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The Associated Press

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