Dallas Stars fans waiting anxiously for word out of Calgary today on whether the young Reilly Smith will play tonight against the Flames, just one day after signing his NHL contract and joining the team in Canada. Reilly is the first of a long list of promising prospects to make it to the NHL and it was an incredibly exciting time for the team, which is looking to add some scoring depth in the middle of a tight playoff race.
Unfortunately, it appears Reilly Smith won't play tonight. There's also a chance he won't play Wednesday night, either. Smith, who is Canadian, was playing at Miami on a student visa. In order to play for the Dallas Stars and collect a paycheck that visa needs to be changed to a working visa, a process that could take a few days. Reilly Smith practiced with the team today and it seems the Stars could be looking to play him on the right wing for now, which would make sense when he's ready to play once the visa issues are dealt with.
Word is that the Stars could look to play Smith on a line with Jamie Benn and Steve Ott. Until he's ready, here were the lines at practice (according to Mike Heika):
Eriksson - Ribeiro - Ryder
Ott - Benn - Burish
Nystrom - Fiddler - Vincour
Morrow - Dowell - Garbutt
It seems that Radek Dvorak does indeed have an ankle injury and Gulutzan said today he is out tonight and possibly Wednesday as well. The Stars are further shaking up the lines by apparently scratching Tom Wandell and playing Ryan Garbutt and Jake Dowell on the fourth line. Wandell has played well in his role on the fourth line but with Calgary taking some liberties with the Stars on Saturday, it's possible that Gulutzan wants some players willing/able to fight on that fourth line.
Dowell, Morrow and Garbutt certainly fit that mold.
Mark Fistric is on the trip but will not play tonight. Defensive pairs look to be the same as they were against Calgary.
Kari Lehtonen is in net.