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Canadiens lose Radulov to Stars, replace him with Hemsky

Winnipeg Jets v Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 18: Alexander Radulov #47 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the warmup prior to the NHL game against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell Centre on February 18, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Winnipeg Jets defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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The Dallas Stars continued to load up this offseason by signing one of the top free agent forwards available, Alexander Radulov, to a five-year contract worth $6.25 million per season.

The $31.25 million price tag is the largest contract signed in free agency this summer.

Radulov is the latest big-ticket acquisition to join the Stars this summer, joining goaltender Ben Bishop, center Martin Hanzal and defenseman Marc Methot.

He will be joining a roster that already boasts Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza up front and should help improve an offense that significantly regressed last season. Radulov spent the 2016-17 season playing Montreal in his return to the NHL and was an immediate impact player. He was able to turn that one-year deal into a long-term contract with Dallas.

For the Canadiens, it leaves a pretty big hole in their lineup as Radulov was one of their best forwards all season.

They attempted to fill that spot by signing former Stars forward Ales Hemsky to a one-year contract that will pay him $1 million this season.

After being reasonably healthy for three consecutive seasons, Hemsky’s injury issues returned last season and limited him to just 15 games. He is still a talented playmaker when healthy, but that is always the key with Hemsky. It is a relatively low-risk deal for the Canadiens with some upside, but it still looks to be a pretty significant downgrade up front.