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Dallas Stars recall Ray Sawada; assign Chris Conner to AHL

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From the Dallas Stars press release:

The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has recalled right wing Raymond Sawada from the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL). The Stars also announced that right wing Chris Conner has been assigned back to the Peoria Rivermen (AHL).

It will be interesting to hear the team's reason for this move. Conner has played well in the games he's been activated for and he seemed to have built chemistry with Neal and Modano. He also a small guy (5'8, 180) and the Stars have been missing some muscle in their game the past week or so.

Ray Sawada is a different style player, much bigger (6'2", 205) and more of a controlled tenacity than Conner's "little ball of hate' ferociousness. If you recall, I watched him play this past weekend in Hartford and while I was impressed with his size, I wanted him to use it more. He is good with the puck and is very sure of himself on the ice, so I'm not expecting to see any defensive jitters. You can read my scouting report of Sawada here.

This is however, Sawada's very first stint in the NHL and it's interesting that the Stars would choose to go with him over a guy that's had experience and success at this level.

I'm expecting the Stars to put Sawada on the fourth line with Barch and Sutherby and to be subbed in and out with Parrish, although Sawada would be a better fit. This gives the Stars a very big, energetic fourth line and one that could wreak havoc when given the chance. Lines would then look like this:

Ott-Ribeiro-Lehtinen
Neal-Modano-Brunnstrom
Lundqvist-Petersen-Eriksson
Barch-Sutherby-Parrish/Sawada

What are your thoughts?