Exit Interviews: Jeffrey looking to get back to NHL next season

Dustin Jeffrey wants to be back in the NHL next season. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Dustin Jeffrey wants to be back in the NHL next season. (Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Dustin Jeffrey doesn’t have any plans to be part of the Texas Stars next season.

The 26-year-old restricted free agent enjoyed winning a Calder Cup title, but after an up-and-down season Jeffrey wants to spend the 2014-15 season in the NHL.

“I don’t know, I’m still restricted as of now, so we’ll see,” Jeffrey said. “Teams know in the past three years I’ve been in (Pittsburgh) and then in Dallas, so they’ve watched me play in the NHL.”

“They know what I can do, so that is in my agent’s hands,” he continued.

The 2013-14 season didn’t go as planned for Jeffrey. He started the year with the Pittsburgh Penguins, played just 10 games and was put on waivers where he was claimed by Dallas. He then struggled with Dallas — was passed up by Colton Sceviour on the depth chart — and was bounced back-and-forth to the AHL despite his one-way contract.

He also didn’t impress right away with Texas. He had just 10 points (4 goals, 6 assist) in 21 regular season games and was a non-factor most nights.

Jeffrey did turn things around in the Calder Cup playoffs. After watching Dallas’ first-round series with the Anaheim Ducks he was sent to Texas and had 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists) in 19 Calder Cup playoff games.

“It was a grind, it was very stressful,” Jeffrey said. “It was long, mentally it was more exhausting then it was physically. I didn’t play a lot of games when I got to Dallas … just the mental part of it was harder on me than anything.”

Winning a title helped ease that struggle.

“It’s nice anytime you can win a championship it’s huge,” Jeffrey said. “I had an opportunity my first year coming out of junior (in 2008). I joined (the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins) and we lost in the finals to Chicago. It takes a lot out of you to work that long and to go all the way and to not win was heartbreaking. To be on the other end of it is sweet.”

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