Stars' Owner Voices Opinion On Robertson's Next Contract

Jason Robertson, still the biggest restricted free agent on the market, has yet to come close to getting a deal done with the Dallas Stars. The other big RFA Jake Oettinger finally got a contract signed at three years, $4 million AAV. That was for a starting goaltender whose position generally makes less than the star forward.

Robertson, a 23-year-old who was drafted in the second round in 2017 by the Stars, finished second in Calder Trophy voting in 2020-21 with 17 goals and 45 points in 51 games before scoring 41 goals and 79 points in 74 games last season. He also finished 13th in Hart Trophy voting for his efforts and helped the Stars qualify for the postseason.

It appears as though Robertson is only getting better, but the Stars owner Tom Gaglardi isn't a fan of giving out big money to players early in their career despite the young forward being the most productive on the team. The owner said, "A kid in the third year of his entry-level contract puts up 40 goals and now he wants to make $7 million. If you want term with that player, he's going to take you even higher than that. The Stars are taking all the money, and the guys in the middle are getting squeezed."
Though that is a fair assessment, the so-called stars on Dallas who are making a significant portion of the money did not perform like stars last season. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin take up $19.35 million, and though they may have been once worth the cost, they combined for 42 goals and 105 points. The goals were just one higher than Robertson alone from two players combining for 163 games.

The best players on the team deserve to be paid that way and it isn't Robertson's fault that the other contracts that are still on the books are hindering the team. Maybe he takes a one to two year deal, but he's still worth a high AAV already. Gaglardi is being as loud as he can and doing as much as he can to control the team and sway players. He is regularly open about his feelings on Benn and Seguin and is wanting things to go back to the old ways of making players prove their skill over a long time before being paid the big money. The way the league is already headed, a short demonstration of their skill and promise earns players large contracts sooner so that the team may not have to pay even more down the line.

Photo credit: © Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports