Stars agree to 2-year, $3 million deal with former first-round pick Jason Dickinson

The Stars are almost done.

By signing center Jason Dickinson to a two-year contract averaging $1.5 million on Thursday morning, the Stars secured another one of their restricted free agents and whittled their list of to-dos. Dickinson was the most expensive remaining RFA Dallas had left to sign, and his $1.5 million cap hit puts the team $970,001 away from the salary cap, according to Cap Friendly.

Dickinson served mostly as the Stars’ fourth-line center last season before elevating to a top-six wing during the playoffs. Dickinson, 24, scored six goals and assisted on 16 more during 67 games last season, when he morphed from a bubble lineup player to key cog in balancing the Stars lineup.

Next season, Dickinson can be a versatile player for coach Jim Montgomery, moving him to the wing in order to spread scoring through other parts of the lineup or keeping him at center to serve as a secondary shutdown center behind Radek Faksa.

Dickinson will again be a RFA when his contract expires after the 2020-21 season. Had the two sides not reached an agreement, Dickinson and the Stars would have had an arbitration hearing July 20 in Toronto.

Dickinson was the sixth RFA the Stars signed. They previously inked Esa Lindell (six years, $5.8 million cap hit), Mattias Janmark (one year, $2.3 million), Gavin Bayreuther (one year, $700,000 in the NHL), Dillon Heatherington (one year, $700,000 in the NHL) and Landon Bow (one year, $700,000 in the NHL).

Now, defenseman Julius Honka remains the team’s only unsigned RFA. (Technically, Niklas Hansson is also unsigned, but he’s already signed to play in Sweden next season.) The Stars have been trying to trade Honka after he was a healthy scratch for the last 35 games of the regular season, but his contract will still provide value. He’s a 23-year-old former first-round pick that should be making around $1 million, and could provide a cheap alternative for cap-strapped teams.

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