Mike Heika is reporting on his blog that Doug Janik has been re-acquired for a conditional 7th round pick. He also thinks the Stars are likely to be recalling Mark Fistric and James Neal from Oklahoma City of the CHL. All 3 of these moves had been procedural moves until Zubov’s placement on the Injured Reserve was official due to salary cap implications.
These 3 moves bring the roster to 24 players currently which means one player has to be trimmed to get to 23 players.
Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards, Mike Modano, Steve Ott, Joel Lundqvist, Toby Petersen
That’s 6 centers on the roster, but most likely you see Ott and Lundqvist slide out to wing positions. I see Ribeiro centering the first line, Richards on the second, and Modano slotted in on the third line. Petersen likely ends up with 4th line duties.
Brenden Morrow, Loui Eriksson, Sean Avery, Fabian Brunnstrom, James Neal
Morrow obviously leads up line one to pair with Ribeiro as that combo worked well last year. Eriksson likely notches up with Richards again on the second line. Meanwhile Sean Avery gets to play big brother and protect Modano on the 3rd line. Fourth line duties fall to James Neal who should be recalled today. Brunnstrom slots out to right wing instead.
Jere Lehtinen, Kris Barch, BJ Crombeen, Chris Conner
This is a bit of a depleted group. Looks like Lehtinen will miss the opener with his groin injury. This leaves first line duties to Ott who will slide on with Morrow and Ribeiro again to see if they can keep the play they had together last season going. Second line falls to Joel Lundqvist who will slide from LW to be with Richards and Eriksson again. Third line duties will likely fall to the new youngster Fabian Brunnstrom as he locks up with Avery and Modano to see if he can add his scoring prowness to this line and make it a lethal third line. Finally the fourth line duties look to be split between Barch and Crombeen depending on if a bit of extra grit is needed from Barch. Conner looks to be the odd man out and most likely sets sail for the AHL to start this season again.
Philippe Boucher, Trevor Daley, Mark Fistric, Nicklas Grossman, Doug Janik, Matt Niskanen, Stephane Robidas, Sergei Zubov (IR)
This is where it can all be shaken up a bit. Boucher will have to slot in somewhere and after missing most of last season doesn’t have chemistry built up with anyone along the blue line really that features many youngsters. I think first line duties fall to Grossman and Robidas to start the season. Grossman is a good mix with Robidas as he adds a bit of power to Robidas flair. Second line looks to be Niskanen and Daley. Both can help both ends of the ice and should be good two-way. Finally third pair seems to be Boucher and Fistric. This leaves Janik as a scratch.
Marty Turco, Tobias Stephan
Not much surprise here. Turco is the starter and Stephan assumes the backup role which he had a bit of last season. Look for Turco to start around 65-70 games this year likely while they ease Stephan in.
Injured Reserve: Zubov
Scratches: Janik, Crombeen