Sunday, June 29, 2014

Will Veteran Cameron Gaunce Anchor Texas' Blue Line Next Year?

Cameron Gaunce (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Cameron Gaunce sounded like a politician when it came time to speak at the Calder Cup rally, extolling the virtues of the hometown fans.

"Every one was taking all my things [to say]," he said the next day. "But it is true. When my mother came, when my sister came with her husband and when a couple of my friends came, they all mentioned the same thing: how nice everyone was."

Those fans will officially find out if he will return to wear victory green on Monday when Dallas is expected to announce their plans for their restricted free agents. Gaunce is one of several Texas Stars who are restricted after this season.

The fourth year pro is coming off a one-year two-day deal signed last summer with Dallas. Gaunce joined the organization at the trade deadline in a straight up deal that sent Tomas Vincour to Colorado and Gaunce to Dallas. Tomas Vincour played this season in the KHL. Gaunce just won a Calder Cup. It's safe to say Dallas won the trade.

Over his career, Gaunce has just 20 NHL games. He was a stalwart piece of the Texas lineup throughout the playoffs and had a huge part in the Cup-winning game. He had three assists.

"When you look at our lineup through the playoffs, every game there was someone else who could have been the hero. Whether it was blocked shots, defensive plays or the big time goals, we knew from the start it wasn't a one-line team to win it. In the last game, when a couple of us were benefactors on certain plays, it was par from the course."

Gaunce prides himself on his defensive play, so it wasn't surprising to see his relatively low point total in the playoffs. He did end up second on the team among defenseman in plus minus in the playoffs at plus-6.

While Dallas does seemed stocked up on defenseman at the moment, Gaunce looks to be a solid defensive defenseman option for the big club. One factor working against him is his pending AHL veteran status. However, it makes a lot of sense to keep a player like Gaunce around to mentor your younger defensemen, act as an NHL callup and contribute his defensive style to the team.

"I'm honestly not too sure," said Gaunce of his status for next year. "I feel like I did a good job taking care of my end of things."

"You're at the point now where there's a couple of options. You can feel helpless in that there's nothing left for you to control or you can realize that there is nothing left for you to control and move on from it."

Gaunce on the championship
I thought Cameron Gaunce had a good quote about winning the Cup. I wanted to share it.

"The first day you're taken over by the moment. It's hard to look beyond where you are at the time. As the days go on, it starts to sink in how big of an accomplishment you've achieved and how long it took to get there. This year there were over six or seven hundred players in the AHL and in the last couple days, I've had the cup that everyone is trying to achieve. It's slowly sinking in and I'm definitely becoming more proud of our accomplishment."

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