|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)|
The Dallas Stars continue to make cuts from their roster as opening night, Thursday for the NHL side, approaches. This weekend, goalie Anton Khudobin, forward Riley Damiani and defenseman Thomas Harley all made the journey down to Cedar Park.
Khudobin is the most interesting of the trio in terms of impact on the AHL roster. Texas now has four goalies on the roster and it would seem that Matt Murray is the favored one among those not named Khudobin. This leaves some decisions for the Dallas brass. In speaking to head coach Neil Graham on Friday, it seems the early decision will mostly be up to hockey ops as to who goes to Idaho and who stays in the AHL.
My plan, if I were making one, would be to keep Khudobin and Murray in constant rotation in Cedar Park and then send Remi Poirier or Adam Scheel to Idaho and then continuously rotate the two of them up/down every few weeks. This gives both the chance to be in the AHL and to get big minutes in the ECHL.
For Damiani and Harley, these are both big boons to the Texas offense as both are top line/pairing individuals. Harley is on the cusp of NHL play and will get time in every situation. Damiani the same. The key for both is to approach the AHL without moping. Far too many players see the assignment, especially when they were so close, as a demotivator and their game suffers. The most notable example was Jamie Oleksiak, who often played like the AHL was below his station after being sent down on assignment. As a result, other players were called up in his place at the next opportunity. It's a negative feedback loop and one that both players will do well to avoid.