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Stars re-sign Miro Heiskanen to 8-year, $67.6 million contract

Miro Heiskanen

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 26: Miro Heiskanen #4 of the Dallas Stars handles the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at the American Airlines Center on April 26, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

The Dallas Stars locked in one of their most important players.

The team announced on Saturday that it has re-signed defenseman Miro Heiskanen to a massive eight-year, $64 million contract extension that will keep him in Dallas through the 2028-29 season. That contract will carry a salary cap hit of $8.45 million per season, making it one of the largest contracts for a defender in the entire NHL.

Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty, Roman Josi, P.K, Subban, and Alex Pietrangelo are the only defenders whose contracts carry a bigger salary cap number.

It should be money well spent for Dallas.

[Related: Stars’ Ben Bishop agrees to waive no-trade clause for expansion draft]

“Since joining us, it has been clear that Miro is part of a collection of young, rising stars that are now playing in the National Hockey League,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement released by the team. “As an organization, we truly feel that Miro has just scratched the surface of his ability and will be in the Norris Trophy discussion for years to come. On behalf of Tom Gagliardi, his family, and our organization, we want to thank Miro for his commitment to the team and we all look forward to watching him as he continues to evolve into one of the elite players of the game.”

Heiskanen, who turns 22 on Sunday, was eligible for restricted free agency this offseason and just completed his third year in the NHL. He has already proven to be one of the best all-around defenders in the league. Defensively he is the player the Stars rely on the most, while he has also scored 28 goals and 67 assists (95 total points) in 205 regular season games. He really started to make a name for himself during the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he played a key role in the Stars’ surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final, recording 26 points in 27 games while playing more than 25 minutes per game.

This contract could have also helped set the market for two of the other prominent young defenders that are due for new contracts this offseason, Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar and the Vancouver Canucks’ Quinn Hughes.