|Derek Hulak, #61 on the AHL Top 100 Free Agent List|
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
But seriously, it's time for all those expiring contracts to come off the books as the mania of creating a successful team for 2015-16 continues. The Texas Stars will have a part in this as NHL, AHL and ECHL contracts all expire at the same time. With many spots to fill, the question has to be: what should you expect from free agency for the Texas Stars?
July 1st, the first day of free agency, is unlikely to bring any big signings for the Texas Stars. When do those free agents who will be Texas impact players sign on the dotted line?
Two seasons ago, Chris Mueller was signed on July 8th, 2013, one of the earlier AHL-destined signings. That was an NHL deal though, so that is a factor. Greg Rallo did not sign until August 1, 2014 for last season. Derek Hulak was on August 14. William Wrenn, who spent much of the year either as the 7th D or in Idaho, signed on August 25.
Further, many players are signed by Texas on AHL/ECHL two-ways and not announced until training camp. Last season, Jesse Root and Mike Dalhuisen fit this mold.
In summary, players in free agency who are expected at the AHL level don't sign today. Far from it, in fact. So, the long slog to figure out the make up of the 2015-16 Texas Stars will continue far past today.