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Thursday, April 14, 2011
Stars 2011-12 payroll outlook

By Mark Stepneski

Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said earlier this week he has no idea on what his budget will be for next season. With the ownership situation still unresolved, time will tell.

What we do know is what the Stars have on the books for the next season as far as salary and salary cap commitments.

As for salary, they have just under $39 million committed to 17 players and I’ve included forward Tomas Vincour in the mix since he was here the final third of the season.

This past season the Stars had some help on the salary side of the things because some of the player contracts called for less money in the first year, but now those contracts are in the second year or beyond and those players are getting more.

Loui Eriksson and Kari Lehtonen both get $1 million more in salary next season. Steve Ott gets $1.2 million more. Trevor Daley’s extension kicks in, so he’ll be making $1 million more.

All that could make things a little more difficult if the Stars are still operating under a tight budget next season. But, again, time will tell on all that.

The cap costs for next season are just under $39 million and that includes the final year of the $1.9375 million Sean Avery re-entry waivers commitment. Next season’s cap could be in the $62 million range with the floor around $46 million.

This past season – by my estimates and they aren’t official – the Stars spent about $46.4 million in actual salary and that included a little more than $500,000 for players called up from the AHL due to injuries.

As for acquisitions, the Stars added about $500,000 to the payroll over the course of the season. The trades for Jamie Langenbrunner and Alex Goligoski and the signing of Jason Williams added up to about $1.9 million in additional salary, when you consider the time the players were acquired. The Stars saved $1.4 million by sending James Neal and Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh in the Goligoski deal, moving Brandon Segal to the minors for the time and shipping Fabian Brunnstrom’s one-way contract to Toronto.