Stars News and

Barch's deal, which was reported earlier in the week, is worth $1.675 million
over two years and will pay him $825,000 in 2010-11 and $850,000 in 2011-12.
"Barchy is a guy who I think is a strong leader and an important guy without a
guy like Mike (Modano) in the locker room," said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk.
Wathier had 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) and 101 penalty minutes in 76 games
with the Texas Stars last season. He also made his NHL debut with the Dallas
Stars, picking up no points and five penalty minutes in five games.
According to Capgeek.com, his contract calls for an NHL level salary of $550,000
in 2010-11 and $600,000 in 2011-12. He'll make $75,000 in the minors in first
year of the deal and $85,000 in the minors in the second year of the deal.
Wathier, a sixth-round pick (185th overall) in 2003, has played 240 career AHL
games, registering 41 goals, 38 assists and 349 penalty minutes.
Free agency opens Thursday
NHL free agency opens Thursday at 11 am CT. Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said the
team will take to unrestricted free agents on the market but that the team does
not expect to make any kind of big splash.
"I think it's safe to say we are not going to be a big player just like we
weren't last year," Nieuwendyk said. "Even though July 1 is a deadline there are
summer months ahead where general managers are continually talking and if we can
do something that would make sense and improve our hockey club, then we would
certainly do it."
Stars' free agents
With the signing of Krys Barch this week the Stars are down to one key
unrestricted free agent from last season and that's right wing Jere Lehtinen.
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said the team continues to wait for Lehtinen to decide
if he is going to continue to play and as of right now, Lehtinen hasn't reached
a decision.
"I communicated with Jere right before he went back to Finland and I sent him an
e-mail [Monday] night. We do stay in touch," Nieuwendyk said. "In his mind, he's
no closer to making a decision on this."
The Stars have four key restricted free agents in LW James Neal, D Nicklas
Grossman, D Matt Niskanen and RW Fabian Brunnstrom.
The league will release the official list of free agents on Thursday, but here's
an official list of the team's free agents.
Restricted Free AgentsUnrestricted Free Agents
James Neal, LWMarty Turco, G
Nicklas Grossman, DMike Modano, C
Matt Niskanen, DJere Lehtinen, RW
Fabian Brunnstrom, RWMatt Climie, G
Maxime Fortunus, DAndrew Hutchinson, D
Ray Sawada, RWDan Jancevski, D
Aaron Gagnon, CGarrett Stafford, D
Perttu Lindgren, CWarren Peters, C
Trevor Ludwig, DTyler Shelast, RW
Stars development opens Thursday
The Stars open a week-long development camp on Thursday. There is one on-ice
session, which runs from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Frisco.
All on-ice sessions are open to the public.
"With Mike (Modano) not being there now, Fabian could be an important part going
forward. We'll see where we go contract-wise or on a qualifying offer, but he is
a guy that at the end of the day has skill and size. I know he didn't show it
last year, but I suspect - and he said it to me - 'I'm going to come in here and
show people.' He said in the meeting I had with him at the end of the year,
'Joe, I learned a lot this year.' I thought that was quite amazing from a guy
who had a tough year. To have his skill around with Mike going out is not a bad
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk on restricted free agent Fabian Brunnstrom