Fortunus, Gaunce Find Homes; Texas Quiet on Day 1

Two years in Iowa? Not bad.
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The first day of free agency was quiet for the Texas Stars. They announced the signing of two rookies but otherwise were pretty mum on the whole signing front. Dallas only signed Patrick Eaves, who will affect the depth in Texas by taking up a spot in Dallas, but that was the only UFA move for the club. Dallas also announced a two-year deal for Curtis McKenzie, an RFA who had already been qualified.

Meanwhile, the moves were fast and furious for many of the top players on the AHL 100 list, including a few former Stars.

Cameron Gaunce was the first to go. Gaunce, who was looking for more NHL time, signed on with the Florida Panthers. The Panthers aren't as deep on the blue line as Dallas, so he may get that chance in South Florida. If not, the Portland Pirates are really stacked up now with the signing of Gaunce, Regner and McKenna. They will make a run for it in the playoffs this season, I think.

Maxime Fortunus found a job very quickly (for an AHL contract) in free agency. Late in the day, the Iowa Wild announced that he had been signed to a two-year contract. Two-year deals are rare in the AHL, which tends to go year-by-year with contracts. However, Fortunus is a special player, as evidenced by the lengthy bio writeup the Wild gave him, and this is his second two-year AHL deal in his career.

Other former Stars to find homes on day one included goalie Richard Bachman (Vancouver/Utica) and forwards Chris Mueller (Anaheim/San Diego) and Dustin Jeffrey (Arizona/Springfield).


  1. Thoughts at this point? Mine aren't good from the Texas or Dallas outlook. Neither team was so good that standing still would be a tactic I would expect, Texas has actually taken a few steps backwards. Still time yes but the pool to select from is getting shallower by the day. The ownership and management now have nowhere to hide, this is 100% their product now, the Hicks days are now in the distant past. Maybe they should show something?


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