It’s not often you hear of a 30-year-old “looking to make the leap” into the NHL. But then, there aren’t many 30-year-olds who have scored as many points in the AHL as Travis Morin has over the past few seasons, with only seven NHL games on his résumé.
Morin’s 2013-14 season was his best as a professional. The Minnesota native had 88 points (32G, 56A) in 66 regular-season games with the Texas Stars. He then added 22 points in 21 playoff games, on the way to a Calder Cup championship.
For his efforts, he was named both the regular-season MVP of the AHL and the playoff MVP. And according to the Dallas Morning News, with Dustin Jeffrey and Chris Mueller having moved on to different organizations, the Stars believe Morin “could be among the first call-ups” next season.
The challenge for Morin will be cracking a Dallas roster that doesn’t exactly have a shortage of scorers in its top six. The organization is also stocked with a number of good, younger forwards, who will similarly be looking to make the leap next season.
“They tell me I need to just get quicker and make plays faster, and I think that’s what I started to do this year” Morin told NHL Live in June. “Hopefully it leads to something next year.”
Willie Desjardins will have some familiar faces around him when he begins his first-ever NHL coaching gig in Vancouver this fall.
On Wednesday, the Canucks signed former Dallas center Dustin Jeffrey. The move reunites Jeffrey with Desjardins, his coach in AHL Texas — Jeffrey split last year between the NHL and AHL but played a key role in Texas’ Calder Cup championship, scoring seven goals and 12 points in 19 playoff games.
The Jeffrey acquisition follows earlier, and similar, moves from new GM Canucks Jim Benning. Prior to the NHL Entry Draft, Benning acquired Derek Dorsett from the New York Rangers — Desjardins coached Dorsett for three years in WHL Medicine Hat — then, on the second day of the draft, Benning went out and acquired Linden Vey from the Los Angeles Kings.
Vey and Desjardins have quite the history together from their time in Medicine Hat. After two years under Desjardins, Vey scored a whopping 116 points in 2010-11 — the most points scored by a Tiger in over 15 years. Vey finished as the Western league’s top scorer (ahead of Tyler Johnson, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Johansen) and was named a first-team all star.
In short, ex-Desjardins players looking for work might want to give Vancouver a call.
In addition to Jeffrey, the Canucks also signed a pair of former OHL standouts in Cal O’Reilly and Bobby Sanguinetti on Wednesday. O’Reilly joined Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica last year after leaving the KHL, scoring 45 points in 52 games for the Comets; Sanguinetti, the 21st overall pick at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, spent last year with KHL Moscow Oblast Atlant and had seven points in 15 games.
A handful of callups and send-downs this afternoon…
Columbus recalls Goloubef
The Blue Jackets called up defenseman Cody Goloubef from the AHL under emergency conditions. Goloubef has six goals and 20 points for the Springfield Falcons this season.
Stars send down Jeffrey
Dustin Jeffrey’s week got a bit tougher after the Stars sent him to AHL Texas. Jeffery was placed on waivers earlier this week and went unclaimed. Now he’ll look to find his game in Austin with the Texas Stars.
Devils demote Whitney
Here’s to hoping Joe Whitney enjoyed his NHL debut with the Devils. The team announced they’ve sent Whitney down to AHL Albany today. Whitney, 25, got his start on a line with Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr and finished the game with no points and 8:00 of ice time.
Capitals recall Wellman, send down Schmidt
The Capitals recalled center Casey Wellman from Hershey and sent defenseman Nate Schmidt down to make room for him. Wellman has some NHL experience already and could be getting the call because of the injury to Mikhail Grabovski against Montreal last night. A rough situation just gets more difficult in D.C. if Grabovski is hurt long-term.
Dustin Jeffrey’s time in Dallas might soon be coming to a close.
The former Pens forward — claimed off waivers by Dallas two months ago — has been placed back on waivers, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.
Jeffrey, 25, failed to find his niche with the Stars, appearing in just 12 games while notching one assist and a minus-2 rating. He last played in Monday’s 4-1 loss to Nashville — getting nearly 12 minutes — but was dropped from the lineup for last night’s big 4-0 win over Minnesota.
Jeffrey does have some NHL success on his resume, including a solid stint with the Pens during the 2010-11 campaign when he scored 12 points in 25 games. All told, he has over 100 NHL contests to his credit and could very well be scooped up again for a team looking for a forward on the cheap (Jeffrey is on a one-year, $625,000 deal).
Dallas is looking for its first win in three tries against Chicago tonight, but won’t have its leading goalscorer to help the cause.
Tyler Seguin, out with concussion-like symptoms since the last time the two sides met — a 2-1 shootout win by Chicago on Friday — will miss his second straight game when the Stars take on the ‘Hawks at the United Center on Tuesday.
Seguin will skate with the team on Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s in Toronto, head coach Lindy Ruff told the Dallas Morning News. The Stars are coming off a deflating 3-2 shootout loss to Edmonton in what was Seguin’s first missed game of the year on Sunday, and now face a tall order in trying to beat a Chicago team that’s outscored Dallas 7-3 in two contests this season.
Seguin leads the Stars in goals (12) and sits second in assists (11) and points (23). Without him in the lineup, it looks as though Jamie Benn will play on a line with Cody Eakin and Alex Chiasson.
Ray Whitney will likely skate with Dustin Jeffrey and Rich Peverley, while Erik Cole should go with Shawn Horcoff and rookie Valeri Nichushkin. The fourth line will be Vern Fiddler between Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt.