The word from Frisco after morning skate is that the speculation was correct and Alex Goligoski will be a Stars' healthy scratch, along with Aaron Rome, who cleared waivers this morning but evidently will remain with the team.
In his place will be 23 year-old Kevin Connauton making his NHL debut.
Connauton was not taken when originally draft eligible in 2008. The Canucks then drafted him out of college (CCHA) in 2009 83rd overall and after a season in juniors he toiled for four season in the AHL, eventually being traded from the Canucks for Derek Roy last year. Tonight he makes it to the top of the hill and figures to be paired with Sergei Gonchar.
The forward group will be without Ryan Garbutt after his five game suspension was handed down, but Erik Cole is ready to go after a nagging (upper-body? lower-body?) injury kept him out of practice all week.
Meanwhile Rich Peverley will remain on the Stars' top line and Valeri Nichushkin will move over to the left of Horcoff and Cole.
That fourth line has a little of the old sandpaper.
The power play will feature a little more Nichushkin...
Ruff tweaking 1st power play. Benn-Seguin-Eakin-Whitney and Robidas. 2nd unit is Peverley-Chiasson-Nichushkin-Gonchar and Daley.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) October 24, 2013
Rome's waiver clearance gives the Stars a 10-game, 30-day window during which he can be sent to the AHL for more game conditioning, and was done as a precaution to give them flexibility in case they needed another forward in Cole and Garbutt's absence. Injuries being unpredictable as they are, it appears they'll wait and see how things shake out over this little home stand before deciding what to do.
The last time Goligoski was scratched (February 6th) he returned and scored 24 points in the the remaining 37 games. If this is just a one game message, how will the pairings look when he gets back? Goligoski and Gonchar seems to be over.
Tonight is Hockey Fights Cancer Night at American Airlines Center...
DALLAS STARS HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER NIGHT (Thursday, Oct. 24)
The Dallas Stars will hold their annual Hockey Fights Cancer night presented by UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center this Thursday vs. Calgary. The 2013-14 season marks the 15th anniversary of Hockey Fights Cancer, the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association joint charitable initiative dedicated to raising awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research. Since its inception in 1998, Hockey Fights Cancer has donated approximately $13 million to cancer organizations throughout North America.
As a part of the league-wide initiative, all members of the Dallas Stars coaching staff will wear Hockey Fights Cancer ties on the bench during the game and Dallas Stars players will have the option to use lavender tape on sticks and equipment. Five non-profit organizations (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Movember, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network and ZERO) will be in attendance with tables on the concourse to provide fans with information and opportunities to donate to cancer research.
Julie Dobbs, FOX Sports Southwest producer and former Dallas Stars employee, will participate in the ceremonial puck drop. Dobbs was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and is currently undergoing treatment.
The Dallas Stars Foundation will be raising money for the five non-profit organizations represented at the game by auctioning off warm-up used lavender taped sticks from Tyler Seguin, Brenden Dillon, Vernon Fiddler, Alex Chiasson, Jordie Benn and Valeri Nichushkin. The sticks will be available for bidding during the first and second period outside of Section 113. Additionally, the wives of Dallas Stars players will also be sporting lavender attire at the doors pre-game collecting donations for cancer organizations.