Texas Roster Begins To Form as Free Agency Beat Goes On

Goalie Matt Murray (Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)

It's been pretty quiet for the Dallas Stars on the free agency front, and the AHL roster has been relatively quiescent as well.

Two key signings in the last week, including one today, bolstered the Stars up front and at the back. Last week, Dallas signed Riley Barber to a one-year deal. The offensive-focused forward has spent most of his career between Hershey and Grand Rapids with stops in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Laval. He was over a point per game in GR last year with 53 points in 49 games.

In the pipes, Texas announced today that goalie Matt Murray has been locked up for two years on an AHL deal. He joined the AHL side last year on an ATO and had a sub-2 GAA, instantly taking over the starting role. If he does well, there's no question in my mind that he gets a contract from Dallas.

In the loss column, Texas has seen two of their top scorers walk in free agency. Joel L'Esperance, who co-led the club in goals last year, signed a pact with Grand Rapids. L'Esperance essentially cut himself at the beginning of last season after refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. He was assigned to Texas and not recalled all season despite his very team-favorable contract.

The player who shared the goals leads with L'Esperance, Anthony Louis, also left, heading to the KHL. Louis achieved career highs in goals, assists and points (24-31=55) after a slow start to the year.

Among RFAs, Dallas still needs to sign Ben Gleason, who was qualified before the deadline.