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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
GM Joe on contract talks with Goligoski, Benn

By Mark Stepneski

ESPN.com's Craig Custance is in Traverse City for the NHL Prospect Tournament and talked to Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk about contract talks with defenseman Alex Goligoski and forward Jamie Benn. Nieuwendyk said that even though the ownership issue is still not resolved, talks with those two players are moving ahead.

Goligoski, acquired from Pittsburgh last season for left wing James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen, is in the final year of a contract that is paying him $2.75 million this season. He'll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

"It's not far along at all, but we've discussed it and we'll initiate that," Nieuwendyk told Custance. "We'll have talks at some point here. We'd like to get that done. He's an important player for us. Jamie Benn, same thing."

Benn is in the final year of his entry-level deal and will earn $670,000 in 2011-12. He will be a RFA as well.

Custance's full ESPN Insider story, which includes some debate about NHL realignment, is here.