Yesterday, reports came out that the Dallas Stars had placed Adam Cracknell on waivers. It was a bit of an interesting move so early in the season, as the Stars were carrying 13 forwards and 8 blueliners, after waiving Patrik Nemeth, who was claimed by the Colorado Avalanche.
The roster appeared to be set for a little while.
Two games and two regulation losses later, the Dallas Stars decided they needed something different in their NHL lineup. Adam Cracknell, an excellent depth forward for the Stars last season, seems to have moved down the depth chart in Ken Hitchcock’s system as younger players like Gemel Smith have been given playing time early in the season.
Martin Hanzal appears to have re-injured his ankle in the game versus the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. If it is a short-term fix, and the Stars needed a player from the Texas Stars for tomorrow night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, a roster move would have to be made to free up a space for the callup.
That’s where things get a little interesting.
Without a forward to send to the AHL, the reciprocal roster move would have to have come on defense. Only Julius Honka on the blueline would be able to be assigned to the Texas Stars without having to go through waivers. With the Stars putting Cracknell on waivers instead, it would likely mean that Honka will make his NHL debut for the season tomorrow night.
Placing Cracknell on waivers now allows the Stars to callup a forward in case Hanzal cannot go on Tuesday, and allows them to have injury insurance with 13 forwards still. Cracknell did not clear waivers, though. He has been claimed by the New York Rangers.
It’s tough to see the Stars lose a player that, at times last season, had some of the most hustle and effort consistently. However, it also means that some of the younger players such as Smith have earned their way to a regular roster spot — something many Stars fans have been waiting to see.
We should know later today or tomorrow morning if the Stars callup a player. Given it’s Hanzal that may not be able to play, I’d wager either Roope Hintz or Jason Dickinson would be top of the list to get a call from Dallas. They’d slot into the bottom six easily, and both had strong training camps.