SUNRISE, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: Brenden Dillon #4 of the Dallas Stars and Shawn Matthias #18 of the Florida Panthers fight during the third period on September 27, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Stars defeated the Panthers 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The Dallas Stars have announced yet another move today, as defenseman Brenden Dillon has been recalled from the AHL as the team places Sheldon Souray on injured reserve. The decision to place Souray on IR likely is only to open up a roster spot on the team, allowing the Stars to have seven defensemen with the NHL club as Souray, Stephane Robidas and Philip Larsen are all likely out tomorrow night against Detroit.
Souray and Robidas are out until at least next week.
It's going to be interesting to see who actually plays tomorrow night, although I'd be about 98% certain that Dillon won't make his NHL debut alongside Jordie Benn. The elder Benn has already had a full practice with Dallas and was paired with Mark Fistric; Dillon is likely here as nothing but insurance as a seventh defensemen as we haven't heard of any issues regarding any of the other defensive players, but there's a chance one of the regulars is dinged up and Dillon is here as insurance.
It's also unlikely that the Stars decide to play two rookie defensemen in the same game against the Detroit Red Wings, although you wonder if the Stars might decide to play seven defensemen in the game like they did in a game last week -- double-shifting Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson. It felt, however, that the Stars struggled with consistency on defense with such a set up and I think Dillon is here purely as a precautionary measure.
Nevertheless, this is a great step for Brenden Dillon who went undrafted and signed with the Stars are a free agent last spring, making a lot of noise in the AHL playoffs for the Texas Stars last season. Along with Benn, he's been a surprising addition to the blossoming defensive depth the Stars possess -- although much of that depth is very young and mostly untested. While he's struggled at times in Austin, most reports say that he's adjusted well and looks very good in his first season in the AHL.
The other interesting aspect of this is how the call up affects the Texas Stars, who now have just five defensemen under contract and no other players to call up from the ECHL or CHL. Texas doesn't play until Friday, however, so it's likely this call up could just be for tomorrow night and the Stars down in Austin won't actually be affected.
Press release after the jump.
Frisco, TX - The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has placed defenseman Sheldon Souray on injured reserve with a sprained ankle, retroactive to Dec. 23. The club also recalled defenseman Brenden Dillion from the Texas Stars, Dallas' primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Souray, 35, suffered the injury on Dec. 23 vs. the Nashville Predators. The 6-4, 237-pound defenseman from Elk Point, AB, has appeared in 34 games this season for Dallas, collecting 16 points (4 goals and 12 assists) with 109 PIM. Earlier this season, Souray netted his 100th career NHL goal against the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 4, 2011.
Dillon, 21, has played in 31 games for Texas, scoring 2 goals and 11 assists for 13 points and 34 penalty minutes. He was signed to a three-year contract as a free agent on March 3, 2011. The 6-2, 198-pound defenseman played in 72 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL last season, scoring eight goals and 51 assists for 59 points.
The Stars will host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, Jan. 3 at American Airlines Center (7 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Network, Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket). Dallas is 21-15-1 for 43 points this season, ranked one point out of first place in the Pacific Division standings.