CEDAR PARK — Texas Stars general manager Scott White found the ultimate utility player when he signed defenseman Matt Magnene to a professional tryout contract on Dec. 20.
“I like that he can play forward, too,” White said at the time. “He does a little bit of everything, I think he’ll be a good fit.”
Four months later, that tryout contract has turned into a standard AHL contract and, just like White said, Magnene’s done a little bit of everything for Texas as the team pushes toward the Calder Cup playoffs.
“Matt deserves a ton of credit,” Stars coach Derek Laxdal said. “Because of numbers on the back end, he hadn’t been playing that much recently. Then we put him in on this last road trip and he contributes right away.”
Mangene had a goal and an assist on Texas’ recent three-game swing, all victories, through Milwaukee, Chicago and Iowa. Through 33 games, the 26-year-old has 16 points and has yet to have a pointless streak longer than two games.
He has also helped shuttle around rookie Devin Shore, who joined the team in March and has moved in with Mangene and his roommate Scott Valentine. It’s not the first time Shore has crashed at Mangene’s apartment.
“When I took my official visit to (the University of) Maine, I stayed at his place for the weekend,” Shore said. “So we know each other from then … I try not to ask for too many rides places, but he’s always a pretty good host.”