Monday, July 1, 2019

Texas Stars GM Scott White Talks Free Agency at Day 1 Close

(Credit: Texas Stars)
100 Degree Hockey was able to catch up with Texas Stars General Manager Scott White this afternoon after the flurry of day one signings died down. When asked how his summer was going, White quipped back, “Ask me again in a few days.”

The headline signing of a player like Joe Pavelski may be what catches the eye of most hockey fans, but White’s work will continue this week as he builds depth for the AHL team and works with Idaho GM Neil Graham to provide AHL/ECHL players for the Steelheads. Dallas made three signings today that are likely to affect the Texas Stars, one at each position.

First, Landon Bow was locked up on a one-year, two-way deal after being qualified last month. White was hesitant to definitively say that Bow and Oettinger were the pairing in Texas, leaving room for Colton Point to make his case, “Their play is going to dictate how that goes. I don’t think we’ve ever strayed from that. Landon has a bit more experience, but he’s still young in goalie years. He’s got to grab it. He wants to get to the NHL, he’s got to push because the other two are going to push him.

Second, Dallas added center Tanner Kero on a two-year, two-way contract. The 26 year old was captain of the Michigan Tech Huskies in his senior year before spending time in the Chicago and Vancouver systems. Scott White is a former Husky himself and recruits heavily from the school. Kero played all of last season in Utica, but has 72 NHL games to his name, all in Chicago.

“He’s a motivated player,” said White. “I obviously have knowledge of the player and know his family. We’ve got a competitive player who spent time in the NHL two seasons ago and didn’t get there as much last season. He’s motivated to get back and the way our cap situation is in Dallas is that he just needs to come in and play.

“The I-35 route was well traversed last year. Tanner knows there are opportunities. He’s a smart, two-way player that will help our young players out if he’s there but I know he can play in the NHL as well.”

Finally, Reece Scarlett has been re-signed to Dallas, a two-way NHL contract for a single year. After being injured just two periods into the last season, Scarlett worked hard on his recovery and making himself useful for the Texas Stars, a story we chronicled here.

White added that Dallas is in conversation with Dillon Heatherington and Gavin Bayreuther, who were both qualified last month. He also confirmed that forward Diego Cuglietta is under contract for Texas this coming season.

Based on the veteran numbers, including the addition of Tanner Kero, it seems like Travis Morin and Erik Condra do not fit in the plans for the Stars this year. Morin’s status may not be certain for a few more weeks, but the way the roster has filled up, it does not look likely. The question at that point is whether he finds a spot elsewhere in the league. He certainly could, if he were willing to go.

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