|(Credit: Texas Stars)|
Following his retirement just two weeks ago, it didn't take Max Fortunus long to find a new home. The Dallas Stars announced this morning that the longtime Texas Stars defenseman will return to the club, this time behind the bench, as an assistant coach. He joins former teammate Travis Morin, also now an assistant coach. This addition marks the first time that Texas has had two assistant coaches in the team's tenure in the league.
Dallas Stars Assistant General Manager and Texas Stars General Manager Scott White announced today that the club has appointed Max Fortunus as Assistant Coach of the Texas Stars, Dallas’ top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Fortunus joins Head Coach Neil Graham’s staff that includes Assistant Coach Travis Morin and Video Coach Patrick Dolan.
Fortunus, 37, moves behind the bench after spending the previous three seasons with Fischtown of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), Germany’s top professional hockey league. He recorded 50 points (7-43=50) in 139 career DEL games with Fischtown, serving as an assistant captain for all three seasons with the club from 2018-21.
“We are thrilled to bring Max back to the Texas Stars as an assistant coach,” said White. “A consummate professional, Max brings with him immeasurable experience following a long and storied career. His knowledge of and familiarity with the organization makes him the perfect addition our staff and we are confident he will excel in his new role alongside Neil and Travis.”
Prior to his time in Fischtown, Fortunus spent 15 seasons in the AHL where he amassed 286 points (76-210=286) in 882 career games with Houston, Manitoba, Texas, Iowa and Springfield. The former defenseman recorded 167 points (44-123=167) in 402 career games with Texas over six seasons from 2009-15. Fortunus was named an assistant captain for the 2011-12 campaign before serving as Texas’ captain for three seasons from 2012-15. He ranks third in Texas Stars history in games played (402), fourth in assists (123), sixth in points (167) and 16th in goals (44), while he ranks first among defensemen in club history in each category.
Fortunus made 10 trips to the Calder Cup Playoffs in his AHL career, logging 31 points (6-25=31) in 118 career AHL postseason games. Of his 10 career playoff appearances, five came with Texas, recording 15 points (2-13=15) in 63 Calder Cup Playoff games in a Texas sweater. Fortunus won the 2014 Calder Cup with Texas, while he also reached the Calder Cup Final in 2009 with Manitoba and again in 2010 with Texas. He was also named to the 2014-15 AHL All-Star Game.
“Max’s experience and knowledge of the game will make him a valuable asset both for our staff behind the bench and for our players on the ice,” said Graham. “His approach to the game and incredible leadership skills allowed him to enjoy a great career as a player and we’re excited for him to join our staff as he makes the jump into coaching.”
The native of La Prairie, Quebec, appeared in nine career NHL contests with Dallas during the 2009-10 and 2013-14 seasons, recording one assist (0-1=1), five shots on goal and an average time on ice per game of 15:16. Additionally, he spent parts of two seasons with Louisiana of the ECHL from 2003-05, registering 42 points (11-31=42) in 123 games. Prior to his professional debut in 2003-04, Fortunus logged 148 points (40-108=148) in 285 career games in five seasons with Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL, earning QMJHL First All-Star Team honors and winning the Emile Bouchard Trophy as the QMJHL’s Defenseman of the Year in 2002-03.
He and his wife Marie-Josee Gagne have two sons, Malik and Mao, and a daughter Mayla.