Despite the Texas Stars keeping their hold on first place, there has been a struggle with wins as of late. The problems do not stem from a lack of offense, but rather a lack of strong defense. There have been numerous turnovers at the blue line and odd man rushes have become the norm, leaving whatever goaltender in net out to dry. The factors for the problems Stars have include Patrick Nemeth out with an injury and losing Jordie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak to the Dallas Stars, likely for the rest of the season. There was a bit of a boost to defense with the return of Maxime Fortunus but the Stars needed more help. The signings of William Wrenn and Carl Sneep didn't appear to be the answer.
The Texas Stars hopefully found their answer last night in the PTO signing of Mike Commodore. The 33 year old defenseman has a lot of experience under his belt, winning the Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes. In 2008 he was with the Columbus Blue Jackets, when they made their first ever playoff run. He recorded 5 goals and 19 assists during the season. He will be another big body that the Stars need, as he stands 6'4 and is 227lbs. Stars Insider had a chance to interview Mike today. When asked about what he sees himself bringing to the organization he stated, "I'm here to play for Texas and help these guys down here out on D. It's a young team, so bring a veteran presence. I want to get to where I was feeling when I was playing in Hamilton and we'll see where we go from there".
Already there has been much ado about his number choice in Texas. When he signed with the Detroit Red Wings in 2011 to a one year contract, fans prompted him to pick 64, based off of Commodore 64. He ultimately decided against it. Sorry Texas Fans, he's already been given 33 but is open to wearing 64. "I talked with the equipment manager and he said he already had 33 done up and I said that's fine with me. I would be open to 64. I should probably do that before I retire".
Off the ice, Commodore is has a Twitter presence (@commie22) and shall we say a unique style. After winning the Cup in 2006, he shaved off his Animal esque locks to raise money for Jimmy V Foundation cancer research.
Let's hope that this big personality and presence can bring some wisdom to a young blue line and help the Texas Stars on their road to the Calder Cup. He seems eager to get out on the ice and has a hard work ethic.