Monday, October 2, 2017

Dallas Assigns Three, Places McKenzie and Nemeth on Waivers; Veteran Issues Incoming

Credit: Texas Stars
The Dallas Stars announced a few moves today that drastically improved the Texas Stars roster. First, Dallas assigned forwards Roope Hintz, Jason Dickinson and Remi Elie to the Texas Stars. All three were expected to play with the Texas Stars to open this season. The move essentially creates a new top-line from nothing.

Secondly, Dallas placed Curtis McKenzie and Patrik Nemeth on waivers with the intention of assigning them to Texas if they clear. We won't know that until 11 AM Tuesday. If they both clear, Texas will become a favorite in the West instantly. Curtis McKenzie won the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year award and Patrik Nemeth is a dominant defender at this level.

The assignments would create a knock-on effect downstream, putting a plethora of skaters in Boise. Here are Saturday's lines with the five additions from today (bolded) and subtractions from yesterday.

Dickinson-Hintz-Elie
McKenzie-Morin-McNeill
Flynn-Dowling-Gurianov
Dries-Laberge-French
Ully-Markison-Fyten
Rallo

Nemeth-Bayreuther
Bodnarchuk-Mangene
Bystrom-Hansson
Heatherington-Regner

The AHL does not have a roster limit, but having said that, it's unlikely that Texas will hold on to all of these players. Scott White looks to need to clear three forwards and a defenseman. My bet is that forwards Laberge, French, and Markison head to the ECHL. The defenseman conversation is a lot trickier. Hansson is the most likely to go, if for no other reason than he is a rookie and still on his entry-level contract. Players not on ELCs have a say in whether they can be assigned to the ECHL.

Finally, there is now a vet problem. Coach Laxdal was going to be managing things closely before, but Curtis McKenzie is now a vet in the lineup as well. You get one player between 260-320 games, which McNeill, McKenzie or Dowling could count as, and only five players more with 320 games or more of experience. That excludes goalies. Texas has Morin, Flynn, Rallo, Bodnarchuk, and Regner all with more than 320 games. Two of those eight players will have to be scratched each night to comply. Texas previously ran into this problem in 2013-14. Francis Wathier was traded to the Milwaukee Admirals for Kevin Henderson, who was not a veteran, to alleviate the recurring problem.

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