We might be in off-season but the truth is that hockey never sleeps. Between NHL Awards, draft, trades, and free-agency madness, the league makes sure we are entertained – and busy.
With some teams in rebuilding, others looking to sign players for their last season, and others waiting for a new contract, many players are in the process of re-adjusting as they will have a new team for the 2018-2019 season.
And so, let’s meet the players that will join the Stars this season.
The following list includes only players who come from other teams, and will be updated as needed.
The Russian goaltender was drafted in 2004 by the Minnesota Wild, but didn’t play in the NHL until 2010, as replacement for Josh Harding. He was traded to the Boston Bruins in 2011 and assigned to the AHL’s Providence Bruins. However, he was called up as an emergency goalie during the 2011 Stanley Cup playoff run, with the Bruins eventually winning the Cup. Khudobin was included in the team’s celebratory photo and was awarded a Stanley Cup ring – but as he didn’t play for Boston during the 2010-2011 season, his name was not engraved on the Cup.
He signed as a free-agent with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2013 and was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in 2015, only to return to the Boston Bruins in 2016. What a ride.
Khudobin will take on backup duties while with the Stars, and although he has been through some ups and downs during his career, he has proven to be a top backup.
That noise you heard when the Dallas Stars announced they had signed defenseman Roman Polak was a huge sigh of relief from most fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. But not even those fans can deny that Polak has some defensive skills – that mostly showed during playoffs.
Born in the Czech Republic, Polak was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 2004 and made his NHL debut in 2006 against the Anaheim Ducks. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014, and then to the San Jose Sharks in February 2016, being part of the Sharks team that made their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final (but we all know how that one ended). He went back to Toronto in July 2016.
What Polak brings to the mix is, mainly, physicality: he is a big guy that is 100% not afraid of throwing hits (costing him various minutes in the box). Hopefully, he will blend well with the rest of our defensemen.
Comeau was drafted in 2004 by the New York Islanders and was assigned to the Sound Tigers for the 2005-2006 season. He made his NHL debut in 2006. After a few struggles at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season, Comeau was placed on waivers and claimed by the Calgary Flames. He was later traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2013.
But wait, there’s more.
In 2014 he signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he had one of his best years despite a wrist injury that kept him out of the game for a while. He signed a three-year contract as a free agent with the Colorado Avalanche in 2015, becoming a key player for the team – specially the penalty-kill unit alongside Carl Soderberg. Of course, we can’t forget the stellar, fantastic 14-34-83 line (Comeau-Soderberg-Nieto) that kept the Avs boat afloat on multiple occasions. It was beautiful.
Speaking to SportsDay, Comeau said he declined to talk with several teams that are in a transitional phase and, to him, are not close to being contenders.
“I didn’t want to waste their time or my time. It’s important that I’m on a team that I think can win. Dallas has all those pieces and also wants to improve. That’s very appealing to me”.
Comeau is a solid and versatile addition to the Stars, and will surely connect perfectly with any line he is assigned to. Nothing to worry about here.
After being reportedly placed on waivers along with goaltenders Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard, the Dallas Stars acquired defenseman Connor Carrick through a trade, in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Carrick was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2012, and played the 2012-2013 season in the OHL with the Plymouth Whalers. In 2013, he won a gold medal with Team USA at the IIHF World U18 Championship.
In September 2013, Carrick signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Caps, and made his NHL debut the following season. On February 28, 2016, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, immediately joining the team to finish the season with them. At the end of the season, he was reassigned to the Leafs’ AHL team, Toronto Marlies, to help the team in their playoff run. He signed a two-year contract extension with the Leafs in July, 2016.
Carrick was a healthy scratch for 32 games during the 2017-2018 regular season, and while Toronto made it to the playoffs, he did not play in any of the first round games (Boston eliminated Toronto in the first round). He attended the Leafs’ 2018 training camp and made it to a couple of preseason games.
Carrick is that one element that can make the big difference to the Stars’ third line, so here’s to hoping he will get the chance he rightfully deserves (also, if he plays more than 50 games this season, the pick will upgrade to a sixth-round pick).
So, is it October yet?