|(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)|
The Texas Stars added some serious firepower and veteran experience to their lineup this morning with the re-addition of Curtis McKenzie on a two-year deal. McKenzie, originally drafted by Dallas in 2009, returns to the club where he won rookie of the year and a Calder Cup and captained the club to its most recent Calder Cup Final appearance.
McKenzie ranks fifth all-time in points for the Stars with 190 and is, at least in this reporter's opinion, a shoe-in to earn the captain's "C" on his chest for this season and next.
It is absolutely clear that Texas Stars GM Scott White is not messing around when it comes to stacking the AHL squad with proven veterans to complement the talented youngsters. It does not seem far-fetched to put this team in the mix for the Calder Cup, even before the season has started.
Here's the release:
The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, announced on Friday that left wing Curtis McKenzie has signed a two-year AHL contract with the organization. The veteran forward has played five of his eight pro seasons in Texas and currently ranks fifth in Stars history with 190 points (82-108=190).
McKenzie, 30, spent the 2020-21 season with the Utica Comets totaling 13 points (5-8=13) in 26 games and the prior two years as a member of the Chicago Wolves. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound winger recorded 96 points (37-59=96) in 132 games for Chicago and paced the club with 17 goals in 2019-20. In 2019, McKenzie reached the Calder Cup Final for the third time in his career and the second consecutive season, leading the Wolves with 15 points (8-7=15) and eight goals in the postseason.
The former Stars captain completed a five-year tenure with the organization in 2018, taking the team to their third Calder Cup Final appearance. After leading the team with 25 goals in the regular season, McKenzie racked up a league leading 11 goals and team high 20 points in the playoffs. His 48 points (25-23=48) in 51 games were second best on the roster that year.
From 2013 to 2018, the Golden, British Columbia native played 99 NHL games for the Dallas Stars, including the entire 2016-17 season, tallying 23 points (10-13=23) and 131 PIMS. McKenzie is among Texas’ franchise leaders, ranking fifth with 190 points, 82 goals, 108 assists, fourth with 346 PIMS, and 10th with 223 games played. His career playoff production also ranks second in team history with 38 points (16-22=38) in 52 games.
As a rookie, McKenzie captured the 2014 Red Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL’s Rookie of the Year, leading all first-year players with 65 points (27-38=65). He capped his impressive debut season by helping Texas win their first Calder Cup Championship in 2014.
Before turning pro, the RedHawks alum played four years at Miami University from 2009 to 2013 and earned 80 points (29-51=80) in 159 NCAA games. McKenzie was originally selected by Dallas in the sixth round (159th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.