Dallas Stars: Wrapping Up A Busy First Day Of 2019 Free Agency

SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 13: Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks adjusts his stick in the locker room before the game against the Dallas Stars at SAP Center on December 13, 2018 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - DECEMBER 13: Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks adjusts his stick in the locker room before the game against the Dallas Stars at SAP Center on December 13, 2018 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images) /
5 of 5

Other Moves, Signings, And Quotes

While Pavelski, Perry, and Sekera took up a majority of the Dallas Stars news sphere on July 1, there were a handful of other moves that the Stars also made to further round out the organization.

Stars Hire John Stevens

Though it’s been speculated about for nearly a month and the departure of Stu Barnes made it all the more clear, John Stevens was officially hired by the Stars as an assistant coach on July 1.

“Here’s someone that has won at a high level for a long time and someone that understands people, understands what it takes to win, and is going to be able to express that to our players and add another layer of leadership to our team,” Montgomery said of the hire.

Live Feed

How Crazy Would Signing Phil Kessel be for the Nashville Predators?
How Crazy Would Signing Phil Kessel be for the Nashville Predators? /


  • Looking Ahead to 2024 and the Biggest Nashville Predators Free Agents Predlines
  • Defenseman Matt Dumba signs one-year contract with Arizona Gone Puck Wild
  • Could Colorado Avalanche look into Vladimir Tarasenko? Mile High Sticking
  • Denis Gurianov Adds More Healthy Competition to Nashville Predators Predlines
  • NHL rumors: Latest on William Nylander contract hints at future with Maple Leafs FanSided
  • Montgomery and Stevens have a long history together, going back to when they were teammates on the Philadelphia Phantoms in the late 1990’s. In addition, Montgomery coached Stevens’ son (who is also named John) when he began his coaching career with the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL. The two have known each other for a while and have kept up, most recently with Stevens serving as a mentor to Montgomery in his first season behind an NHL bench.

    “Last year, I remember calling him and we had a two-hour phone conversation about, ‘What would you do if you were me? Do you leave Denver for Dallas?’ and looking at other options as well when I went through it,” Montgomery said. “He’s the one that said, ‘Go to Dallas. It’s time,’ and that really influenced my decision. Now to be able to add him here, I think he sees the game very similar to the rest of our staff and also can add things. He’s going to be in charge of 5-on-5 pre-scout and adding to 5-on-5 offense to our team. I think he’s going to make us better in all of those areas.”

    Stevens has a deep coaching resume, including time as the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, and should add another element to a Dallas coaching staff that now has four NHL head coaches (whether current or previous) on it.

    Stars Re-sign Landon Bow, Sign Tanner Kero

    Dallas also made two depth signings that should further aid the Texas Stars in the 2019-20 season.

    The Stars re-signed goaltender Landon Bow after qualifying him as an RFA last week. Bow, 23, served as the organization’s no. 3 goalie in the 2018-19 season and owned the starting role in the AHL for much of the year while also serving as an NHL backup whenever Ben Bishop was injured. He will likely compete with Jake Oettinger for the starting spot in the AHL in the 2019-20 season.

    They also signed free agent center Tanner Kero to a two-year contract. Kero, 26, had 24 goals and 57 points in 67 games with the Utica Comets (AHL) last season and also has 72 career NHL games under his belt as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Kero is a strong AHL option that will give Texas more depth on the offensive side of the puck for at least the next two seasons.

    Notable Quotes

    “It’s no secret that you’re always trying to add scoring. I talked to every GM in the league and we’re all trying to add scoring. It’s hard to do. Teams are well-coached, goaltending is outstanding, everybody plays good defensive hockey, and it’s hard to score goals. So, when you can add major scorers, that’s a big addition. That’s where some of these players came into play. You can never be competitive enough and these guys are very competitive players. These guys have won at every level they’ve been. They’re marquee players. On top of it, they are world-class players, they’ve had success, and they’ve all won a lot. There’s a pedigree that comes with that.” –Nill on the additions of Pavelski, Perry, and Sekera

    “Anytime you can add that to your team, you’re getting better. That’s what excites us about the guys we added. They all fill a need. We added the scoring and we can never be competitive enough. We saw that in the playoffs. St. Louis showed everybody that’s how you have to play, and we were right there with St. Louis.” –Nill cont’d on the new additions

    “We like Ryan and we like how he plays his game. So, we made the move knowing that if we could get him signed at a certain number, he would be valuable for us. But if we were going to make some of these other moves and the number wasn’t going to work, we would have to let him go. Saying that, we still had the understanding that we would negotiate with him after he became a free agent. But to make these moves, we had to have flexibility. Because he has arbitration rights, if we would have qualified him, gone to arbitration, and the number was too high, we couldn’t have made two of these moves today.” –Nill on what happened with Ryan Hartman

    “I think I’m going to fit in just fine. I talked to Bishop, talked to Jamie, and texted Seguin a little bit. I feel good talking to the coaches about what it’s like there. They sound like a great group of guys that really want to win right now and guys that want to prove something. They’re coming off of a good year where they thought they had a chance to beat St. Louis and came up a little bit short. It’s something that I feel like I can add a lot to and hopefully we can take another step next year.” –Pavelski on how he feels he will fit in

    And just like that, the first day of Free Agency was wrapped up in a neat and tidy bow by the Dallas Stars.

    dark. Next. What A Healthy Stephen Johns Can Do For Stars

    All that’s left to do is wait until October to see if and how the moves pay off.