Thursday, July 1, 2010
Stars agree with Burish, Raycroft
By Richard Durrett
and Jesse Rogers
The Chicago Blackhawks' salary cap problems benefited the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
They agreed to terms on a two-year deal with unrestricted free-agent forward Adam Burish and will pay him $1 million in 2010-11 and $1.3 million in 2011-12.
The Stars also agreed to a deal with free-agent goalie Andrew Raycroft to compete for the backup job.
"There was a bunch of teams interested," Burish said. "It was a little overwhelming. I've never gone through this before. I was in the gym kind of working out and by 11:20 [a.m. CT] teams had been calling my agent. There were like five or six."
He was surprised at the work the Stars did.
"They knew everything about me," he said. "What I'm like on the ice and in the locker room and everything."
The 27-year-old has played the last three-plus seasons with Chicago, which won its first Stanley Cup since 1961 this year. Burish tore his right ACL in the preseason, and he didn't return until March. He played in 13 regular-season games, scoring a goal and three assists in just under nine minutes of ice time. He played a limited role in the postseason.
"He's a hard-nosed kid and very hard to play against," Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said. "He plays with a lot of energy and pulls people into the fight with him. He skates really well and works hard. The games I watched in the playoffs, he was the first guy in on the forecheck and finished with authority."
Nieuwendyk sees Burish as a third-line winger or a fourth-line winger or center.
"I feel like our top six forwards match up really well and there's a lot of skill there," Nieuwendyk said. "We have a number of people that are not going to be fun to play against. That's kind of what I envision. We're getting there."
Burish had mixed feelings about leaving Chicago but getting more of an opportunity in Dallas.
"It's both," he said. "You have that understanding going into it that it's going to happen but every time a guy gets moved or traded everybody texts each other. It's hard, and it's sad. It's a special place where you get your start."
Burish isn't shy about mixing it up on the ice, and he's already targeted some of his old friends on the Blackhawks.
"[Patrick] Sharp and [Patrick] Kane. I'm going right after them," he said.
Burish will get his first chance when the Stars travel to Chicago for a game Dec. 8.
The Stars signed Raycroft to a two-year contract. But the first year is a two-way deal, meaning he'll make $700,000 if he's in the NHL and $105,000 if he's in the minors. The second year is a one-way deal for $600,000.
Raycroft, 30, comes in with a chance to compete for the backup goalie job with Brent Krahn. Kari Lehtonen is the starter. Raycroft played 21 games for Vancouver in 2009-10, posting a 9-5-1 record with 2.42 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.
The last time Raycroft was a starter was for Toronto in 2006-07, when he played 72 games and went 37-25-9 with a 2.99 GAA and a .894 save percentage.
Richard Durrett is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com. Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com.