With three players, including two from the top six, traded on Tuesday, there were a lot of question marks as to what type of lineup the Dallas Stars would put out there today for their second consecutive game against the Anaheim Ducks.
Those questions got their preliminary answer at the morning skate in Anaheim, where the Stars ran out the following lines:
Eric Nystrom - Jamie Benn - Erik Cole
Ray Whitney - Loui Eriksson - Matt Fraser
Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Alex Chiasson
Lane MacDermid - Tom Wandell - Colton Sceviour
Yes, you read that right, Eriksson at center.
And even if Vernon Fiddler is healthy enough to return to the lineup and give the Stars four plausible centers between him, Benn, Eakin and Roussel, Eriksson at center is still apparently a go, at least for a bit.
"We’ll see with Fiddler is probably coming into the lineup, but (Eriksson is) certainly going to see some time there at center, for sure," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan told the media after morning skate.
The front office has made it clear that the Stars biggest priority is not reaching the playoffs this year, but preparing for a brighter future. But Nystrom told Mike Heika that the remaining players are not thinking that way just yet.
Absolutely not. You know what, we brought up some guys that are going to definitely play the type of game we need to be successful. We obviously lost two really skilled offensive guys, but we’re not in a great position. So we have young guys coming up who are going to play that north game that we want, who are going to drive the net and play the right way. And they’ve been successful this year, so it’s a great opportunity for them. And I’m just excited to get their energy in here and see them play well.
There were a few other paperwork moves made to help ensure certain players were eligible for the Calder Cup playoffs with the Texas Stars. Chiasson and Fraser were each assigned to Texas then immediately recalled. That both makes them available for any playoff run in Austin as well as leaves Dallas with just two more non-emergency callups to use for the final 12 games.