No deals for Oettinger and Robertson with training camp drawing near.
Smiley N. Pool/Dallas Morning News  

No deals for Oettinger and Robertson with training camp drawing near.

Something has to give.

Jonathan Larivee

The Dallas Stars are now just one month away from the start of training camp, but in spite of that fact two of the key young players on their roster are currently still without a contract.

Both goaltender Jake Oettinger and forward Jason Robertson are currently restricted free agents and have been restricted free agents since free agency opened up on the 13th of July, however in spite of that no deal for either player has as of yet materialized.

Oettinger and Robertson find themselves at something of a standoff with the Stars, with limited leverage on their side of the negotiation table. Neither player has any arbitration hearings schedule which means there is no pressure on the Dallas Stars to get the deals worked out before a certain date. It's true that Oettinger and Robertson could refuse to report to training camp if neither player has a deal in place, but I suspect that in spite of the apparent impasse here, all sides would much rather avoid that scenario.

According to Cap Friendly, the Stars currently have $10,335,834 in projected cap space for the upcoming season, which doesn't give them a ton of room to get both players signed. Oettinger established himself as the Stars starting netminder last season and he will be in for a considerable raise after making 48 regular season appearances and recording a 2.53 goals against average and a .914 save percentage.

Robertson is coming off of a huge season of his own with 41 goals and 38 assists for a total of 79 points in just 74 games played, and he will be looking at a massive raise after previously being on a contract with a cap hit of just $750,00 per season.

In theory both players could be the target of an offer sheet, but given the Stars' available cap space as well as the type of offers it would take to prevent the Stars from matching, that seems unlikely.

In a recent mailbag for The Athletic, Stars reporter Saad Yousuf did his best to predict what their new deals might look like.

From Yousuf:

Robertson coming in at around $7 million and Oettinger coming in at around $4 million, both on bridge deals, checks out mathematically for the Stars as well.

Yousuf admits however that it is much easier to make that kind of proclamation than it is to actually sit across the table from player agents and make the money work for both sides. One thing is certain, the sand is starting to slip through the hourglass and as the season draws near the pressure to get these deals done will mount considerably.