In a move that's surprising to almost no one, the Dallas Stars announced they have sent forward Brett Ritchie back to the Texas Stars of the AHL.
Ritchie hasn't played since the March 24 loss to the Arizona Coyotes while dealing with a lower-body injury, and he's only played eight games with the NHL club this year after missing the first half of the season recovering from off-season wrist surgery. He had one assist and 15 shots on goal in those eight games.
But more than limited playing time, the crowded forward roster is probably a better explanation for Ritchie's demotion. With Tyler Seguin finally playing again (though clearly still working his way back from the Achilles injury) and no one in the forward lineup playing particularly poorly, there is simply a shortage of roster spots. The Texas Stars will be starting their own playoff run too, so there's no real use in holding players in Dallas who aren't playing.
Here is the official release from the Texas Stars:
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has reassigned right wing Brett Ritchie to the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Ritchie, 22, has appeared in eight games with Dallas this season, recording one assist (0-1=1), seven penalty minutes and 15 shots on goal. Prior to his recall to Dallas on March 3, he had registered 28 points (14-14=28) in 35 games with Texas this season. Ritchie began the season on the injured non-roster list after undergoing wrist surgery prior to training camp and missed the last seven games of the 2015-16 regular season with a lower body injury. As a rookie for Dallas in 2014-15, he posted nine points (6-3=9) in 31 NHL contests.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Orangeville, Ontario was selected by Dallas in the second round (44th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and currently in their seventh season at Cedar Park Center. Full season, 24-game and 12-game ticket packages for the 2016-17 campaign are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.