Day One of Free Agency Adds Several Texas-Bound Players

(Credit: Ross Bonander/Texas Stars)

The Dallas Stars made several free agency moves in day one of the open signing period yesterday that will trickle down to the Texas Stars. As the club, which was young last year, gets a year older, they will be bolstered by many veteran additions. Let's get to it.

Kyle Capobianco is the league's reigning defenseman of the year. Texas is very familiar with the blueliner as he played in the division for Manitoba. The media contingent for Texas had Capobianco at the top of our ballot for that award and the AHL All-Star First Team award, both of which he won. His deal with Dallas is a two-year contract that sees him move to one-way in year two. There's upside here that he could be a factor in Dallas in year one, but otherwise, he can be an incredible piece of the puzzle for Texas. He can replace offense lost with the departure of Derrick Pouliot to Tampa. 

Kole Lind has been tearing it up in Coachella Valley the past two years, including nearly a point-per-game pace last season (17-48=65 in 69 GP). Just behind him on the Firebirds scoring ledger was Cameron Hughes (25-32=57 in 69 GP). Both are now Dallas Stars and expected to make their way to Cedar Park. The pair are actually ranked second and third all-time for franchise points for the Firebirds, as limited as their franchise history is.

All of the defensive signings mean that any one of several different players could be added to the Texas roster after camp shakes out the top seven. Alex Petrovic could be one of them. So could Nils Lundkvist or Brendan Smith. Two of them could also come down if Lian Bichsel makes enough noise to start the season in Dallas. As has been said elsewhere, I imagine that Bichsel starts in Texas but then heads to Dallas before Thanksgiving based on his body of work.

Elsewhere, goalie Matt Murray signed in Nashville, which points to Texas going with Remi Poirier and Benjamin Kraws in the net for 2024-25. I wouldn't necessarily rule out a journeyman signing that pushes Kraws to Idaho, but Texas has not been operating in that mindset recently.

There is still much time in the AHL roster building process. Many AHL-bound players are not signed until several days into free agency. Further, many AHL-only contracts have already been signed by the team but will not be announced until August. Think of ATO players who were not signed to Dallas contracts, like Anthony Romano, though I'm not saying Romano is signed.