Apparently the Stars weren't quite done in free agency, announcing today that the team has signed winger Eric Godard to a two-year contract, with the first year of the deal a two-way deal.
Godard is a tough guy, a pugilist in every sense of the word and is going to keep the Stars moving towards this "tough to play against" movement that Joe Nieuwendyk has been preaching. Of course, the Stars already have Krys Barch but as we saw last season the Stars could always use more physicality -- especially if Barch is hurt or has limited minutes once more. It's important to remember that the players that fought the most last season -- Barch and Brian Sutherby -- one is gone and the other will be facing limited minutes.
Godard is a bit "famous" for his role in the big brawl between the Islanders and Penguins last season, automatically suspended 10 games when he came off the bench and engaged on a fight on the ice in defense of his teammates. Brent Johnson was being challenged by Michael Haley to a fight; Godard left the bench to prevent his goalie from being pummeled into the ice. Illegal and a bit dangerous? Of course. Good guy to have on your team? Hell yes. Godard is a tough guy and known for his aggressiveness, but he is also a stand up guy who will defend his teammates when needed.
Godard is a pure depth signing, who came for cheap and likely won't see a whole lot of time on the ice if everything goes well. The Stars did have one last roster spot technically open (that many feel belongs to Vincour) and Godard sharing minutes with Barch will allow some of the younger players to get the minutes they need down in the AHL. It's important to remember that even if Godard is on a two-way contract, he'll still need to pass through waivers if sent to the AHL.
Here's the press release.
Frisco, Tex. -- The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has agreed to terms with right wing Eric Godard on a two-year contract. The first year of the contract is a two-way deal worth $750,000/$105,000 while the second year is a one-way agreement worth $700,000.
Godard, 31, spent the 2010-11 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, appearing in 19 games with three assists, a +4 rating, and 105 penalty minutes.
The 6-4, 214-pound right winger has played in 335 career NHL games, scoring three goals and 12 assists for 18 points. In eight NHL seasons, Godard has accrued 833 penalty minutes and has appeared in seven career playoff games, registering one assist and six penalty minutes.
The Vernon, B.C., native was originally signed as a free agent by the Florida Panthers on Sept. 24, 1999. Godard has also played for the NY Islanders and Calgary Flames before joining Pittsburgh on July 1, 2008.