Ottawa Senators trade rights to defenceman Sergei Gonchar to Dallas Stars

Sergei Gonchar. (DEREK RUTTAN/QMI Agency)

Sergei Gonchar. (DEREK RUTTAN/QMI Agency)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:39 AM ET

BOSTON - Sergei Gonchar is headed for the Lone Star State.

It's up to him to decide if he wants to stay.

While the veteran defenceman is still mulling over a lucrative offer of more than $7 million to join Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the KHL, the Senators dealt his negotiating rights to the Dallas Stars Friday in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick this year.

Though Senators GM Bryan Murray had held brief talks with Kelowna-based agent J.P. Barry, both sides realized Gonchar wasn't willing to take much of a paycut from the $5.5 million he made last season to stay with Ottawa.

That's when the Senators decided to get something for Gonchar, who becomes a free agent July 5 if he doesn't sign with Dallas. The Senators only get the pick if Gonchar inks a deal with Dallas.

"We thank Sergei for his efforts in Ottawa," said Senators GM Bryan Murray in a statement. "We felt that this trade will give Sergei the opportunity to extend his career in the NHL and we wish him success with the Stars."

Whether Gonchar, 39, who wants a two-year deal, actually signs with the Stars is another story, but new Dallas GM Jim Nill couldn't resist the opportunity to get a veteran player.


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