The Stars placed Antti Niemi on waivers with the intent of buying out the final year of his contract, the Dallas Morning News reported Monday.
Niemi is scheduled to make $4.5 million in 2017-18, and league rules allow a buyout at two-thirds of the remaining contract or $3 million. The Stars can then spread the cap hit of that buyout over two seasons or $1.5 million.
That leaves the Stars with more than $20 million in cap space for this upcoming season.
Niemi ended up being one of general manager Jim Nill’s worst moves. He was signed to a three-year contract that averaged $4.5 million in hopes of creating a goaltending duo with Kari Lehtonen. While the pair were good in the first season, they fell apart last year. Niemi went 12-12-4 with a 3.30 goals against average and .892 save percentage. Of the 44 goalies that qualified for NHL rankings, Niemi was 44th in GAA and 43rd in save percentage.
When Nill traded for the rights to Ben Bishop and signed him to a six-year contract, one of the two remaining goalies had to go. Lehtonen has one more year on his deal at $5.9 million.
Niemi will become an unrestricted free agent.
The Stars acquired defenseman Marc Methot from the Golden Knights.
Dallas sent goaltending prospect Dylan Ferguson and a 2020 second-round pick to Vegas.
Methot, 32, has two years left on his contract at a salary-cap hit of $4.9 million.
... The Lightning re-signed defenseman Andrei Sustr to a one-year, $1.95 million deal.
They also signed forward Yanni Gourde and made qualifying offers to nine other players, including forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat.
Monday was the deadline for clubs to extend offers to ensure the right of first refusal or draft choice compensation should players sign an offer sheet with another team.
... The Blues did not extend a qualifying offer to Nail Yakupov, making the 2012 No. 1 pick an unrestricted free agent.
Yakupov, 23, had just nine points in 40 games last season after four years with the Oilers.
The Russian winger has never had more than 33 points in a season and will be free to sign with any team July 1.
... The Wild agreed with defenseman Gustav Olofsson on a two-year, $1.45 million contract.
Right wings Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter received qualifying offers.
Defenseman Christian Folin did not receive an offer.
... The Oilers signed forward Zack Kassian to a three-year contract extension.
... The Hurricanes agreed to terms with forward Derek Ryan on a one-year contract.
Ryan will make $1.425 million this season.
... Sabres general manager Jason Botterill hired Randy Sexton and Steve Greeley as assistant GMs.