With the NHL free agency period beginning in late June, the roster that helped the Texas Stars’ advance to the Calder Cup Finals for the third time in franchise history has already undergone some changes.
A few players have re-signed with the team, some have signed NHL deals that allow them to play in Dallas and Cedar Park and more players and a coach have gone elsewhere across the league.
Here’s a breakdown of the transactions up to this point:
Travis Morin signed a one-year deal to keep him with the Stars for the 10th season. He is the only player to take the ice in Cedar Park every year the team has been in existence. The veteran center led the AHL with 51 points last season.
“Texas has become home for me and my family,” Morin said in a release. “We have had great success over my time with the Stars and we are excited to come back and continue being a part of it.”
Speedy forward Colin Markison re-signed with the AHL team on June. 28. He scored seven goals with 27 assists in 73 games in Texas last season.
Forward Robbie Payne and defenseman Shane Hanna joined the Stars on tryout agreements late last season. Payne made six appearances and had two assists, while Hanna played in 20 AHL games with three assists.
Jason Dickinson signed a one-year, two-way contract with Dallas worth $875,000, according to Sean Shapiro of The Athletic. Dickinson scored 20 goals and had 18 assists during the regular season and playoffs last year and also played 27 games in NHL.
Dallas also re-signed defenseman Reece Scarlett to a one-year, two-way contract. He made 66 appearances for Texas last year after being accrued via trade and scored one goal with nine assists during the regular season and playoffs.
Curtis McKenzie signed a two-year deal with the Las Vegas Golden Knights worth $750,000 per season.
McKenzie was the AHL rookie of the year in the 2013-14 season and helped Texas win its first Calder Cup. This season, he scored 36 goals with 32 assists and was the team’s only All-Star selection.
“It’s hard to believe I won’t be returning to the lone star state after 5 years but I am leaving with countless memories and great friends,” he tweeted. “Thanks to the (Dallas Stars) and (Texas Stars) for giving me my start to pro hockey and to all the fans that overwhelmed us with support in Texas.”
After spending four years as an assistant coach in Texas, Karl Taylor was named the head coach of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals on June 29. He made the playoffs three years he was with the team.
Mike McKenna signed a one-year contract with the Ottawa Senators. The veteran goalie was a key cog in helping the Stars get to the Calder Cup Finals, boasting an impressive .927 save percentage across 22 postseason games.
“Thank you,” he tweeted. “I've spent the past hour racking my brain trying to write something poignant and self-deprecating but the right words fail me. We are so grateful for this season. Our (Texas Stars) team gave it our all and I am so proud to have been a part of it.”
The Stars announced on July 3 that Bob Jones was to be the next assistant coach at Texas.
Jones spent the last three seasons as head coach of the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. He spent eight years before that as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires, winning two straight OHL titles with the team in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
"Bob has been very successful in junior hockey for two decades and we are pleased to welcome him to the Dallas Stars organization," Texas Stars General Manager Scott White said. "He has over 21 seasons of coaching experience and his wealth of knowledge and ability to develop young players will be a tremendous asset to our organization.”
The team also announced the signing of James Phelan from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He scored 86 goals with 105 assists over five years in the non-professional junior league.