Thursday, October 8, 2015

Some Thoughts on the Texas Stars Opening Roster

Cole Ully (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Following my sojourn to Pennsylvania for hockey, there was some intense work to be done to earn the trip, hence the lack of updates here this week.

Texas has spent the week doing hard work themselves. They solidified their opening roster for this Saturday's game against San Antonio and that wasn't without a few surprises along the way.

First of all, here is the final roster that Texas announced today:
Forwards:
#8 Cory Kane
#9 Remi Elie
#10 Justin Dowling
#11 Branden Troock
#14 Gemel Smith
#16 Curtis McKenzie
#19 Brendan Ranford
#21 Cole Ully
#23 Travis Morin (C)
#24 Derek Hulak
#27 Greg Rallo (A)
#28 Matej Stransky
#29 Radek Faksa
#34 Devin Shore
#38 Jason Dickinson

Defensemen:
#3 Esa Lindell
#4 Stephen Johns
#5 Mattias Backman
#6 Julius Honka
#12 Jesse Blacker
#17 Ludwig Bystrom
#22 Brennan Evans (A)
#26 Matt Mangene

Goaltenders:
#33 Maxime Lagace
#40 John Muse

Some notes for me include:
  • Curtis McKenzie is back in Cedar Park after it looked liek he was a lock to make the roster in Dallas. The surprise here is less McKenzie and more the emergence of Mattias Janmark. If you'll remember, Janmark was last seen by most Texas Stars fans in the playoffs, playing a very tired game against Rockford after traveling from Europe and being pressed into service on short notice. It clearly wasn't a game that was indicative of his talent.
  • McKenzie is not the type of player to sulk at his assignment. He will definitely contribute and earn an inevitable callup. Injuries and other movement are just part of the game.
  • Cory Kane is surprise to make the roster. Not much noise of him in the preseason games I watched, but he must have impressed the coaching staff. I think he's the first assignment to Idaho though, if they move that way. Players like Taylor Peters and Emil Molin may even be better than Kane in some ways, but they need to get quality minutes in Idaho, which brings us to...
  • Philippe Desrosiers was always penciled in for Boise. When Jack Campbell got injured, that went out the door a bit, and there was an open competition to backup John Muse in Texas. Maxime Lagace made the original plan easy by just nailing training camp and playing lights out in preseason. Scott White can feel good with Desrosiers getting tons of minutes in Idaho because Lagace has shown he can hang at this level.
  • Cole Ully is the final note, a surprise to make it out of camp in a Texas sweater. He didn't look like he was 100% ready for the AHL just 6 months ago, but he spent some time this summer concentrating on things that he can change about his game and it made a difference. essentially, he stopped trying to bulk up, accepted he wasn't going to get any bigger and instead worked on other things like explosive speed and agility. It worked.
Season starts on Saturday...

5 comments:

  1. Lagace was amazing during the most recent preseason game. He came up huge with that glove save in OT and again on the scramble save a few minutes later. His movements looked clean and sharp. I look forward to seeing him in the tandem with Muse while Jack is out. I just hope the equipment guy spells Lagace's name correct on the actual game jersey.

    I understand Jack is still in Dallas with the hand injury. Is there any information on how he sustained the injury or how long until he is back?

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    1. Not sure how he sustained it but the prognosis was on the order of weeks. Maybe about a month.

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  2. Dang! Thanks for the intel Steven. You're the man.

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  3. Note to Jack Campbell: This will be the third year you are going to have to fight to be the starter. Third time is a charm. If you can't do it this year, you are toast.

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  4. We already hashed out this conversation...move on.

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