Stars sign Sergei Gonchar
Despite previous rumors that Sergei Gonchar would be leaving the NHL to go play in Russia’s KHL, the 39-year-old defenseman will in fact be staying in North America. Days after acquiring his right from the Ottawa Senators for a conditional sixth-round draft pick, the Dallas Stars signed Gonchar to a two-year, $10 million deal.
Gonchar instantly becomes the most experienced blueliner for the Stars. A first-round pick of the Washington Capitals back in 1992, Gonchar has played 18 NHL seasons with the Capitals (1994-2004), Boston Bruins (2004), Pittsburgh Penguins (2005-2010), and Ottawa Senators (2010-2013). He leads all active defenseman in points (775) and assists (558), and is second only to Roman Hamrlik in games played amongst all active NHL defensemen.
He will bring a veteran presence to a Dallas blueline that features only one other player over 30 (Stephane Robidas, 36), and will likely feature one or two rookies next year, as prospects like Jamie Oleksiak, Joe Morrow and Patrik Nemeth work their way up the ranks. In addition to a mentoring presence, Gonchar will also be counted on to improve Dallas’ special teams, as he is a noted power play quarterback. With 101 man-advantage tallies, half of his 217 career goals have come on the power play. Dallas will use that to improve a power play unit that ranked 18th in the NHL last year with a 17% success rate on the power play.