The Dallas Stars agreed to a 4-year, $8 million contract with unrestricted free-agent forward Antoine Roussel on Tuesday, allowing both sides to avoid Wednesday’s scheduled arbitration hearing.
“It worked out well. The arbitration process is one of the processes that a player and team have and in the end, when you start to get deadlines of things, that’s when deals usually get done and that’s what took place today,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said. “It was a very good process for both parties. They got a deal they’re happy with and we got a deal we’re happy with.”
Roussel, 24, made a name for himself as the Stars’ enforcer with his physical game and eagerness to drop the gloves as needed. However, Roussel is the rare commodity of an enforcer who can score.
“Well, it’s a big part of our team,” Nill said. “He plays the game the right way. He plays hard. He’s got a physical edge to him and on top of that he can put points up, and it’s hard to find those type of players. He’s a good guy in the [locker] room. He’s earned everything he should have, and you can’t have enough of those guys on the team.”
Roussel was the only player in the league last year to account for more than 25 points while registering more than 150 penalty minutes.
The native of Roubaix, France, had career highs in goals (14), assists (15) and points (29) in his second season with the Stars last year, while also posting career totals in penalty minutes with 209, good enough for third in the NHL.
Roussel was pushed to the forefront of playoff storylines in Dallas’ opening-round matchup with the Anaheim Ducks when he drew Anaheim scoring star Ryan Getzlaf into a fight late in Game 3 after Getzlaf took a puck to the face in Game 1, which required stitches.
Getzlaf was then scratched from Game 4 due to a listed upper-body injury.
National TV slate
NBC announced its national broadcast schedule Tuesday, which will feature four appearances by the Stars.
The Stars’ game with Chicago on Jan. 4 will be broadcast on NBCSN. The start time for the game has been moved from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate the broadcast.
Also, the Feb. 22 game in Minnesota will be on NBCSN, as well as March 1 vs. Anaheim and April 8 at Anaheim.