Additionally, Texas announced their opponents for the coming season. There is no schedule yet; we just know how many times we will play each team. The AHL has a home/home type policy. If Texas plays against a team, it will always be an even number of matches since each team gets a home game.
Opponent Home games/away games:
San Antonio 5/5
Oklahoma City 5/5
Lake Erie 2/2
Grand Rapids 3/3
My personal feeling is that 56 of 80 games against the West Division is too much. Texas does not even play all of the teams in the Western Conference. Rochester, a member of the Western Conference's north division, has yet to face off against the Texas Stars in the team's history.
Additionally, Texas will face a single Eastern Conference team the entire year, the Syracuse Crunch. Texas will miss out on a rematch with the Hershey Bears and still will not have played 13 of the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference. Other teams, such as Rochester, have even more games against their own division (64/80). Is travel really that big of a concern that it stifles competition to this degree?
Here's the release for both stories:
The Texas Stars announced on Thursday that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Matt Stephenson for the 2010-11 season.
Stephenson, 26, will enter his third full year of professional hockey after playing in 61 games last season for the Texas Stars. The Midland, ON native posted a career-high five assists for a total of five points in 2009-10. Stephenson finished fourth on the team among all defensemen with 47 penalty minutes. The former St. Cloud State defender helped Texas reach the Calder Cup Finals, posting four assists in 24 playoff games this past spring.
For his career, Stephenson has played in 136 games professionally, including 83 in the AHL. Stephenson has seven assists and 81 penalty minutes for his AHL career. In 2008-09, Stephenson played in 53 games for the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, scoring five times and setting up 22 others for 27 points.
The Texas Stars also revealed their 2010-11 opponents, including 28 home games against West Division visitors. The Stars will play their in-state rival, the Houston Aeros 12 times in the regular season, including six games at Cedar Park Center. Texas will also face San Antonio and the Oklahoma City Barons ten times in 2010-11, with each team hosting five games. The remaining West Division opponents (Chicago, Milwaukee, Peoria and Rockford) will each face Texas six times, with each team hosting three games. In all, 56 of the Stars 80 regular season games will be played against West Division rivals.
Texas will face six teams from the Western Conference’s North Division. The Stars will play Abbotsford, Lake Erie and Manitoba a total of four times, including a pair of home games per side. The Stars will face Grand Rapids more than any other team in the North Division. The Griffins and Stars will each host three games in 2010-11. The Stars will also play Hamilton and Toronto twice, with each team hosting one game. Just like 2009-10, Texas will play the Syracuse Crunch, the only team on the schedule from the Eastern Conference. The Stars and Crunch will each host a game after splitting a pair last season.