For being an off day for the players and a federal holiday at that, Monday was a pretty busy afternoon for the Dallas Stars front office.
With injuries starting to pile up as Trevor Daley joined Kari Lehtonen and Ray Whitney as guys nursing.... some sort of injury, the Stars made a few roster-shuffling moves to shore up their NHL roster.
As Mike Heika first reported on Twitter, the Stars have recalled Jordie Benn and Matt Fraser from the Texas Stars, sending Tomas Vincour back outright and Tom Wandell down to Austin on a conditioning assignment in return.
Before anyone gets too freaked out about Daley's status (and as Heika wrote today that while he's going to get an MRI on that dastardly upper body, it's not expected to be severe), a Benn callup was likely in the works even before he got hurt. The Stars had been carrying six defensemen since sending Jamie Oleksiak back to the minors, and the move to put Lehtonen on injured reserve left an open space that just screamed for another defenseman.
Other injury updates from Heika were that Lehtonen may skate tomorrow or Wednesday and that "Saturday is not out of the question." Additionally, Whitney may begin testing that broken foot this week, though a return is still at least two weeks away.
As far as today's moves, the elder Benn was serviceable in his stint in Dallas to start the season, picking up four penalty minutes and a minus-3 rating in eight games played. He has seven goals and 21 points in 40 games in the AHL this year.
Fraser, 22, is by far the leading scorer on the Texas Stars with 24 goals and 35 points in 51 games, buoyed by a sparkling 15.9 shooting percentage. He joined the Stars organization as an undrafted free agent in 2010.
Vincour has not played in a week and has only played one game since Feb. 8, spending the rest of his time as a healthy scratch in favor of Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt. He has one goal this season. Wandell has been firmly stapled to the press box since Jan. 29. He has no goals and no points with a minus-2 rating in seven games this season.
Official release is below:
The Dallas Stars announced a series of roster moves today. The club recalled defenseman Jordie Benn and forward Matt Fraser from the Texas Stars, Dallas' development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). The team also assigned forwards Tom Wandell and Tomas Vincour to Texas. Wandell was sent to Texas as part of a conditioning assignment.
Benn, 25, has skated in 40 games for Texas this season where he ranks second among defensemen in scoring with 21 points (7G-14A). The 6-foot-1, 205-pound defenseman has played 11 career NHL games, recording four penalty minutes and eight shots. Benn went undrafted and was signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 25, 2012.
Fraser, 22, is tied for third in the AHL with 24 total goals, and leads the league with 13 power play goals. Earlier this season, Fraser was selected to represent the Western Conference at the 2013 AHL All-Star Game after posting a team-leading 35 points (24G-11A) for Texas in 51 games so far this season. The 6-foot-1 forward from Red Deer, Alta., played his first career NHL contest last season on Jan. 24, 2012 against the Anaheim Ducks. Fraser went undrafted and was signed as a free agent on Nov. 17, 2010.
Wandell, 26, has played seven games for Dallas this season, where he has four penalty minutes and nine shots. He's skated in 218 career NHL games, posting 42 points (19G-23A), and 52 penalty minutes. Since his entrance into the league in 2008-09, the Stars have won 14-of-17 games (14-2-1 record) when he records a goal. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound forward from Sodertalje, Sweden was Dallas' fifth-round selection (146th overall) at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Vincour, 22, has one goal, a plus-1 rating, and seven shots in eight games this season for Dallas. Prior to being recalled, he played 39 games for Texas, where he earned 19 points (7G-12A) and a plus-4 rating. The 6-foot-2, 204-pound forward from Brno, Czech Republic was Dallas' fifth-round selection (129th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
The Dallas Stars will practice Tuesday morning at 10:30 am at Dr Pepper StarCenter in McKinney, and play their next game on Thursday, Feb. 21 against the Vancouver Canucks at 7:30 p.m. CT (TV: FOX Sports Southwest; Radio: 1310 The Ticket).