They say everything’s bigger in Texas, NHL contracts are no exception. With much talk about Sergei Gonchar’s imminent return to finish out his career in the KHL, many were surprised to learn the 39-year-old had been dealt to Dallas on Friday. Now comes word that Gonchar is set to sign a two-year deal with the Stars to remain stateside for a cool $10 million. The 19-year NHL veteran brings an incredible amount of experience to Texas where he joins his fifth team having spent time in Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Ottawa.
The Chelyabinsk native ranks 8th-all time for Russian-born players in points with 775 and still has something left in the tank having racked up at least 25 points in his last four seasons. Stars fans will surely welcome Gonchar to Dallas as he is the first Russian to patrol the blue-line since Sergei Zubov’s departure in 2009. It seems older players have become the new norm in the NHL with names like Selanne, Jagr, and Whitney all being active in the NHL.
It’s doubtful Gonchar will ever regain his offense prowess seen 7 years ago but his presence should bode well for young defenseman such as Brenden Dillon and Philip Larsen. This works out for Dallas who have money to give under the cap and for Gonchar who will surely prefer to remain in the top league for a nice payday.
Gonchar needs just eight points to leapfrog into 6th all-time amongst his countrymen and is already the top scoring defenseman from Russia ever.