Texas Signs Captain Curtis McKenzie to New Two-Year Deal

(Credit: Ross Bonander/Texas Stars)

The Texas Stars announced today that Curtis McKenzie, their captain and a Star for two Texas Calder Cup Finals runs and seven of his last ten seasons, is locked on for another two years with the AHL club.

After leaving the Dallas organization in 2018, McKenzie bounced around to a few other clubs in search of NHL playing time. Ultimately, he returned to Cedar Park on a two-year AHL deal signed in 2021. He spoke extensively about the decision in the foreword to my book "We Win Here," noting that he wanted a place that was a consistent home for his growing family and a great place to play hockey as well.

McKenzie's end-of-season press scrum following the Game 5 loss to Milwaukee was teary. At that point, it was unclear if McKenzie would return given the language that he used, indicating how special his time with Texas was and that he knew there was a lot of young talent coming to Cedar Park next season.

This signing removes that question. The team is committing to him as the leader for that young talent he mentioned.

The two-year deal speaks volumes as to what he has done for the team and what they expect him to do in the coming seasons. McKenzie had 54 points while playing 70 games and manning the wing on a sturdy line with Marian Studenić and Oskar Back for much of the year.

(Credit: Ross Bonander/Texas Stars)

If McKenzie plays out the contract, he will have laced them up for Texas in 9 of his 12 professional seasons by that point. Honestly, for me, the conversation begins on jersey retirement as soon as he does decide to call it a career.

But not yet.