Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stars Add Vet D Mike Commodore Ahead of Playoff Push

In retrospect, when Mike Commodore tweeted the other night that he was in Dallas to watch a Stars game and then a few days later asked if there were any good golf courses in Austin, Texas Stars fans could have seen that something might have been up. Indeed it was. After last night's game against San Antonio, Texas announced that veteran defenseman Mike Commodore has been signed to the Texas Stars on a professional tryout agreement. Commodore won an NCAA Championship with North Dakota and a Stanley Cup with Carolina.

The 484 game veteran of the NHL has a pedigree of winning but has been bouncing between teams since being assigned to the Springfield Falcons in 2011. The Blue Jackets placed Commodore on waivers and sought to 'bury' his contract in the minor leagues so that it did not affect their salary cap. The Wall Street Journal wrote a good article, including player quotes and some interesting tidbits, on Commodore and others who had been placed on waivers and buried in the minors in this way.

Since his time in Springfield, Commodore has played in Detroit, Tampa Bay and Hamilton. Commodore played his most recent game with Hamilton on January 21st and has been golfing since then, according to his Twitter feed.

The signing likely means that Texas is not expecting Patrik Nemeth, Jamie Oleksiak or Jordie Benn to rejoin the lineup soon or perhaps at all this season. Commodore will wear #33 for the Stars. He is the only the second player to wear the number and the first skater. Commodore is the second oldest player on the Stars (1979), a year younger than Toby Petersen (1978).

Here's the release:
The Texas Stars, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Dallas Stars, announced today that the club has signed defenseman Mike Commodore to a professional tryout contract.

Commodore, 33, appeared in 17 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs earlier this season, tallying two assists and 26 penalty minutes. The Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta native is a veteran of 484 career National Hockey League games, where he tallied 106 point (23 goals, 83 assists) and 683 career penalty minutes. Commodore won the 2006 Stanley Cup as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes and won gold with Team Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound defenseman was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round (42nd overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Currently in his 13th professional season, he has played in 261 career AHL games, compiling 79 points (15 goals, 64 assists) and 615 penalty minutes. Commodore played three years of NCAA Division I college hockey for the University of North Dakota, helping the Fighting Sioux win the 2000 NCAA National Championship.

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