Travis Moen

Gonchar, Zidlicky plan to return next season


Sergei Gonchar and Marek Zidlicky intend to play at least one more season in the NHL.

Both veteran defensemen are set to become unrestricted free agents next month.

Zidlicky split the 2014-15 season between the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings. In 84 games the 38-year-old had seven goals and 34 points to go along with a minus-9 rating while averaging over 20 minutes a night in ice time.

“He is 100 percent committed to playing in the NHL next season,” Zidlicky’s agent Allan Walsh tweeted on Monday afternoon.

Gonchar split the 2014-15 season between the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens. The Habs announced last month that they would not be bringing the 41-year-old back for next season.

Montreal acquired Gonchar from Dallas in exchange for Travis Moen in November.

In 48 games this season Gonchar had one goal and 13 assists to go along with a plus-6 rating while averaging nearly 18 minutes a night in ice time.

Gonchar told TVA’s Renaud Lavoie that he wants to play one more season.

Video: Stars’ Moen scores on first career penalty shot attempt (Updated)

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Maybe it was a sign of things to come.

Dallas Stars veteran forward Travis Moen, who hadn’t played since Feb. 17 and entered Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues with one goal on the season, scored on a penalty shot in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. The two teams suddenly erupted for seven goals in the second period, including three in the first 38 seconds, for a combined nine goals on just 38 shots through the opening 40 minutes.

For the 32-year-old Moen, that was his first career penalty shot attempt. It came with 11 seconds remaining in the opening period.

The Stars jumped out to a 5-3 lead in the second period, but coughed that up in a 7-5 loss to the Blues on what was a record-setting night.

Video: Jake Allen’s blunder playing the puck leads to Moen goal


Jake Allen certainly isn’t Martin Brodeur, especially when it comes to playing the puck.

Allen misplayed a puck in behind the St. Louis net and Dallas Stars forward Travis Moen was more than happy to take advantage of the mistake, burying his first goal of the season early in the first period of Saturday’s game.

Allen went to make a pass from behind the net, but just lost control of the puck, which ended up on Moen’s stick. He made no mistake into the empty net. Allen went diving across the crease in desperation but couldn’t make up for his error.


More D change in Dallas as Jordie Benn looks to be out (Updated)


We’ve written quite a bit lately about Dallas’ woeful defense lately — allowing 3.47 goals per game, second-most in the NHL — and the numerous attempts to try and fix it.

Tonight, they could try something new.

Jordie Benn appears primed to be a healthy scratch versus the Coyotes, based on this morning’s skate, which would be the first time this season he’s been held out of the lineup.

The older brother of Stars captain Jamie Benn, Jordie has struggled throughout this season and has been especially poor over the last three games, posting a minus-5 rating while watching his ice time diminish — he played just 15:23 in Tuesday’s 6-4 home loss to Carolina, his lowest total of the season.

In Benn’s place, it looks like recently-recalled Jyrki Jokipakka will get into the lineup for just the fourth time this season:

This change comes on the heels of a pair of blueline-related moves: Sergei Gonchar being traded to Montreal in exchange for forward Travis Moen, and Kevin Connauton being lost on waivers to Columbus.

Update: Looks as though Benn will indeed sit tonight…

With blueline ailing, Columbus claims Connauton off waivers


The Columbus Blue Jackets added another defenseman on Tuesday, claiming ex-Dallas blueliner Kevin Connauton off waivers.

The move comes with a trio of Columbus rearguards on the shelf — Fedor Tyutin, Ryan Murray, Cody Goloubef — and just three days following a trade which netted veteran d-man Jordan Leopold from St. Louis.

Connauton, 24, was Vancouver’s third-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and traded to Dallas at the ’13 deadline. He made his NHL debut for the Stars and went onto appear in 44 games, but just eight of those came this season; Connauton struggled to find minutes recently and had routinely been sitting as a healthy scratch.

It’s worth noting that waiving Connauton was just one of the moves Dallas made to overhaul its defense. The week prior, it traded veteran Sergei Gonchar to Montreal in exchange for forward Travis Moen.

Connauton should have a chance for minutes with the Jackets. Columbus heads into tonight’s game with a projected top-six defense of Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski, Tim Erixon, Dalton Prout, David Savard and Leopold — and given how badly the Jackets have been banged up this year, there’s a good chance one of those guys could go down to injury at any given moment.