Friday, July 12, 2013

Texas Stars Secure Key Pieces Mike Hedden, Josh Robinson

Mike Hedden (Credit: Christina Shapiro)
The Texas Stars announced this morning that they have locked down two of their AHL contracts for the coming season, both re-signings, as winger Mike Hedden and goalie Josh Robinson rejoin the fold. Hedden, who is entering his third year with the club, is a key signing for the Stars' top six. His combination with Justin Dowling during the last season was an engine for success for the club. Both are now back under contract.

"Mike can take a bigger bite here," said Texas Stars GM Scott White. "The trade (sending Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith to Boston) opened up opportunities in our top six. Fortunately, [Hedden] was still available. He can seize some key minutes for us next year."
Josh Robinson (Credit: Idaho Steelheads)
Texas also locked down their goaltending depth. With the departure of Tyler Beskorowany, the team has a definite number five guy in Josh Robinson. Robinson was a rookie last year in the ECHL and was lights out for the Steelheads (27-8-1-3). White is looking for Robinson to continue that depth role in Idaho and be ready for the callup if the time comes. Robinson did not get into an AHL game last year.

Here's the release:
The Texas Stars announced today that the club has signed both left wing Mike Hedden and goaltender Josh Robinson to one-year standard American Hockey League contracts for the 2013-14 season.

Hedden, 28, returns for his third season with the Stars after finishing tied for fourth on the team with 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) during 2012-13, along with 38 penalty minutes and a plus-eight plus-minus rating. The Dunnville, Ontario native saw his first career AHL post-season action during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs and was tied for second on Texas by scoring four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in nine games. Over the last two seasons, Hedden has appeared in 130 career AHL games for the Stars, which ranks 14th on the team’s all-time list, and has 69 points (32 goals, 37 assists) and 93 penalty minutes. He ranks sixth in franchise history in game-winning goals (7), seventh in goals, ninth in points, 11th in assists and 12th in shots (212).

Hedden holds the distinction of being one of just two players in Texas Stars history, along with Colton Sceviour, to score a penalty shot goal. He accomplished the feat on April 14, 2012 when he beat Oklahoma City goaltender David LeNeveu at 5:35 of the second period in front of a sellout crowd at Cedar Park Center. Hedden played four years of NCAA Division III college hockey for Neumann University of the ECAC West, helping the Knights win the 2009 NCAA D-III National Championship, the first in school history.

Robinson, 23, re-signs for his second year with Texas after spending his first professional season with the Idaho Steelheads, the Stars’ ECHL affiliate. The Frankenmuth, Michigan native played in 39 games for Idaho during the 2012-13 season, posting a 27-8-1-3 record, with a 2.57 goals-against average (GAA), a 0.925 save percentage (SV%) and five shutouts. Robinson ranked second in the ECHL in wins, shutouts and SV%, fourth in saves (1,245), sixth in minutes played (2,362) and ninth in the league in GAA. He also appeared in 13 post-season games for the Steelheads during the 2013 Kelly Cup Playoffs, earning a 5-7 record with a 2.50 GAA, a 0.919 SV% and one shutout, leading Idaho to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Stockton Thunder in five games. Robinson was recalled to Texas twice last season and served as the Stars backup goaltender for three AHL games. He was undrafted after playing four years of NCAA Division I college hockey for Michigan Technological University of the WCHA.

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