And with that, it looks like the Texas Stars' blueline next year is taking shape. Like I mentioned yesterday, the loss of Andrew Hutchinson is a big one, and after losing Dan Jancevski to the Flyers, there were some holes that had to be filled. Right now, it looks like the Stars are planning on filing them by resigning their young talent.
Maxime Fortunus made a few call-ups last year, and personally I was impressed by his play. Not too flashy, but he got the job done in his own zone. He was definitely a better call-up than Ivan Vishnevskiy, at any rate. Check out our friend Stephen Meserve at Hundred Degree Hockey for his take:
It is positive to see two strong defensemen for the Stars come back. I think Max's game needs a little more seasoning in the AHL before he can suit up in the NHL, but he is a great story. The Quebec native went undrafted and played through the Candian Juniors, ECHL, AHL, and has now played in several NHL games. Trevor Ludwig has developed steadily and earned a permanent roster spot in Texas after the departure of Brad Lukowich. He may be on his way to a career in the NHL like his father. The Stars will need to invest in shinpads if that's the case.
Press release after the jump....
Frisco, Tex. - The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defensemen Maxime Fortunus, Trevor Ludwig and Brad Lukowich each to one-year, two-way contracts through the 2010-11 season.
Fortunus, 26, made his NHL debut with Dallas last season, recording four penalty minutes in eight games. He spent the majority of the season with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League (AHL), skating in 72 games and recording 23 points (11g, 12a). The 6-1, 198-pound defenseman helped Texas reach the Calder Cup Finals in the club's inaugural season in the AHL, playing in 24 games and tallying nine points (2g, 7a). The La Prairie, Quebec, native was originally signed as a free agent by Dallas on July 3, 2008.
Ludwig, 25, split time last season with the Texas Stars and the Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). He finished the season with Texas, collecting eight points (3g, 5a) and 62 penalty minutes in 47 games. The 6-0, 205-pound defenseman also appeared in 19 playoff games for Texas, recording one assist and 18 penalty minutes. The Rhinelander, WI native was Dallas' sixth round selection (283rd overall) at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Lukowich, 33, has played 653 career NHL games and helped both Dallas (1999) and Tampa Bay (2004) win the Stanley Cup. Over his NHL career he has accrued 113 points (23g, 90a) and 369 penalty minutes. Lukowich has dressed in 71 NHL playoff games notching six points (1g, 5a) and 22 penalty minutes.
The 6-1, 200-pound defenseman played 224 games for the Dallas Stars from 1997-2002. Last season he split time with Vancouver and the Texas Stars, skating in 13 games for the Canucks, collecting two points (1g, 1a) and four penalty minutes. The Cranbrook, British Columbia, native appeared in 29 games with Texas, tallying 18 points (3g, 15a) and 10 penalty minutes.