Texas's Blue Line Woes Multiply as Dillon Called to Dallas

Dillon, left, will join other Texas callups including Richard Bachman in Dallas. (Credit: Soobum Im)
With Dallas's defensive reserves dwindling, Texas defenseman Brenden Dillon was called up today to supplement the blue line corps in Big D.

Fourth year pro Jordie Benn, called up yesterday, was picked over the rookie Dillon to join the team when Larsen went down after the game with Boston. Sheldon Souray's injury forced Joe Nieuwendyk's hand and the former Seattle Thunderbird could play his first game in the NHL this week. Coach Gulutzan has said that Jordie Benn will play tomorrow, Tuesday. His quality of play will probably determine if he or Dillon plays in the following game.

This puts a strain on the blue line in Texas. The club now has only five defensemen on the roster at the moment: Lukowich, Spang, Fortunus, Coyle and Labrie. Coyle and Labrie are both rookies at a position where veteran leadership is necessary. Lukowich has been in and out of the lineup recently with a nagging injury so that could lower things to four.

Scott White needs to work the phones to find at least one defenseman, if not two. Matt Case, who was with Texas in camp and is having a great season in Idaho, would be an obvious choice. However, he is injured. Another top d-man in Idaho is 29 year old Kory Scoran, 1-10-11 in 16 games. Idaho is already low on D though, so perhaps another call is unlikely.

In Allen, there's a bit of an awkward situation possible. Depending on how the relationship ended, Texas could call on Tyler or Trevor Ludwig. Tyler leads all defenseman in scoring at 1-11-12 in 29 games. He has a gaudy plus-12 and plays the power play for the Americans. Trevor Ludwig played for Texas for two years and has 2-1-3 in 13 games for Allen. In a pinch, perhaps a known quantity on the blue line isn't the worst situation. Also in Allen is Mike Berube, who joined Texas in camp. Berube is 2-7-9 in 29 games with a plus-11 rating.

The transaction wire is the spot to watch over the next 48 hours or so.

Here's the release:
The Dallas Stars announced on Monday that the club has placed defenseman Sheldon Souray on injured reserve with a sprained ankle, retroactive to Dec. 23. The club also recalled defenseman Brenden Dillion from the Texas Stars, Dallas' primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Souray, 35, suffered the injury on Dec. 23 vs. the Nashville Predators. The 6-4, 237-pound defenseman from Elk Point, AB, has appeared in 34 games this season for Dallas, collecting 16 points (4 goals and 12 assists) with 109 PIM. Earlier this season, Souray netted his 100th career NHL goal against the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 4, 2011.

Dillon, 21, has played in 31 games for Texas, scoring 2 goals and 11 assists for 13 points and 34 penalty minutes. He was signed to a three-year contract as a free agent on March 3, 2011. The 6-2, 198-pound defenseman played in 72 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL last season, scoring eight goals and 51 assists for 59 points.