Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Curtis McKenzie Clears Waivers, Expected in Texas; Patrik Nemeth Claimed by Colorado

Curtis McKenzie (Credit: Texas Stars)
Patrik Nemeth is no longer a Star. The Colorado Avalanche claimed the defenseman this morning off waivers. He instantly becomes one of their top 6 forwards and has a great chance to stay there all year. On the other side of things, Curtis McKenzie cleared waivers and is expected to be assigned to the Texas Stars imminently.

Patrik Nemeth joined the Texas Stars in 2012-13, playing half a season worth of games due to injury. In 2013-14, he anchored a blue line that drove Texas to the Calder Cup. As a feather in his cap, Nemeth scored the Cup-clinching goal in overitme of Game 5. Over the next three season, he played 100 NHL games and a smattering of AHL games, hampered by both injury and relegation to the press box.

It's good for Nemeth to get a chance in the NHL somewhere else. The well-documented defensive logjam in Dallas was hurting his career, and he gets a fresh start in Colorado now.

Curtis McKenzie came to the Texas Stars as a rookie in 2013-14 after a career at Miami of Ohio. He was a 6th round pick for the Stars and wasn't pegged to be an offensive powerhouse. At the AHL level, those expectations were definitely wrong. McKenzie earned the Rookie of the Year award as he scored 27 goals and 38 assists, working the wing on a top line that was a catalyst in helping Texas win the Calder that year. McKenzie played a mixture of AHL and NHL time in the next two years and settled into solely NHL work last season. With new additions and rising prospects, McKenzie now finds himself in Texas where he will be a top six forward on day one and a threat on the power play as well.

As discussed yesterday, McKenzie's addition exacerbates an already present veteran issue. Texas has eight veterans and can only play six of them each night.

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