Thursday, July 31, 2014

Could Greg Rallo Be the Texas Stars' Vet Forward Option?

Greg Rallo (Credit: Chris Jerina)
The Texas Stars could be going back to the well on a former player to fill the veteran gap at forward. Former Texas center Greg Rallo broke the news this morning that he would not be returning to the Florida Panthers organization next year. He was the captain of the San Antonio Rampage last season.



Rallo joined Florida after two years with Texas from 2009-11. It wasn't that Rallo didn't like the Stars. It was more that Florida offered a better opportunity to play in the NHL. The Panthers signed Rallo to an NHL two-way deal. The move paid off as Rallo eventually picked up 11 NHL games between 2011-13 with the Panthers. It was an opportunity he never would have gotten with the Dallas Stars organization.

When Rallo was in Cedar Park, he was great for the Texas Stars. After putting up just 9 points in 55 games with the Manitoba Moose, he came to Texas on a tryout. After expecting to spend the season in Boise with the Steelheads, Rallo signed an SPC with the AHL Stars and tallied 44 points in 69 games. He added 10 points in the Stars' improbable Calder Finals run that inaugural year, playing many big minutes alongside Jamie Benn and Aaron Gagnon.

Rallo returned for the second year, putting up even more offense: 54 points in 78 games. He parlayed that success into the Panthers contract. With the Rampage, he scored 42, 40 and 34 points in his three years.

Has Rallo passed the biggest offensive numbers of his career? That's possible given his decline over the past three years. However, look at the teams he was playing on. San Antonio made the playoffs his first season there. It was also his best offensive season in the Alamo City. Probably not a coincidence.

What role would the Illinois-born forward fill for the Texas Stars? He certainly would not be asked to step into the top six in the same role he had with the inaugural year Stars. However, he can still be a very effective player in an offensive role. He might be even more effective in the minutes he has when he is asked to play fewer of them. Rallo will be 33 by the time the season starts, which would make him the oldest player on Texas' roster. The current oldest, Maxime Fortunus, turned 31 earlier this week.

Rallo could be extremely effective as a bottom six player who also has the upside to play power play, penalty kill and slide into the top six in case of injuries and callups. Between Mike Hedden, Chris Mueller, and Dustin Jeffrey, the Stars lost an entire line (all veterans) from their championship lineup. Rallo would fit nicely on the wing, possibly helping out the younger Taylor Peters and Branden Troock on the fourth line. He can take faceoffs for Peters when needed and has good experience to bolster his young linemates.

Rallo would count as one of Texas' veteran players. That list already includes Travis Morin, Maxime Fortunus, Derek Meech and Cameron Gaunce. Texas may need to leave one of their spots open for Patrick Eaves to make it down after things shake out in Dallas. Signing Rallo wouldn't break the bank on veterans though.

What makes it possible he would sign here? Well, for one, Rallo was spotted at the Cedar Park Center during the Stars' playoff run chatting with Scott White. Take that as you will, but it is certainly something. Additionally, Rallo obviously would like to win now while he is still able to contribute. San Antonio was a good place for him to get NHL games, but it was not a great place for winning. The Stars are setup to win now with the young core and the good feeling of a championship season still in the tank.

1 comment:

  1. We need one more vet for sure. Why not Greg?

    ReplyDelete

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