The Dallas Stars announced on Monday morning that they have signed defenseman Alex Goligoski to a new 4-year contract extension, worth $18.4 million, which will keep him in Dallas through the 2016 season. Goligoski was scheduled to become a restricted free agent in July, but that process has now been completely avoided and the now 26-year old defenseman will be an unrestricted free agent when his contract extension expires.
The biggest question that Goligoski had hanging over top of him, when he was dealt from Pittsburgh to Dallas, was whether or not he could provide the same level of value (not necessarily offensive value) that the Penguins were going to get out of James Neal. Of course, offensive numbers are going to be a part of that discussion, where he has 15 points (5 goals and 10 assists) in 36 games, but being that number one or number two guy on the blueline, worthy of the top pairing. I don't think there is much doubt that he has shown some real flashes of that guy, but I think you could argue that he could do with a bit more offensive production, just to help his case a little more.
Nevertheless, the Dallas Stars have definitely seen enough to give Goligoski a solid contract extension and between the two parties, that's all that is really needed.
The Stars have quite a bit of flexibility to play with in the coming year, which is definitely good for them, especially with some key restricted free agents coming up. With Goligoski signed on, I have the Stars with 12 of their regular players signed on, including seven forwards, four defensemen and their starting goalie. Jamie Benn, Mark Fistric and Philip Larsen are all on the list to be signed to new deals next season and they have plenty of prospects already signed on, some of which may get long looks in camp.