Derek Meech is headed to Sweden and signed a two-year contract with the Malmo Redhawks, the SHL team announced on it’s website this morning.
Meech played 99 regular season games for the Texas Stars and helped hoist the Calder Cup in 2014.
This will be Meech’s second stint in Europe. He played for Dinamo Minsk of the KHL for half of the 2013-14 season, but left and joined the Texas Stars after Belarusian doctors wanted to operate on his heart — which occasionally beats faster. It’s an issue he’s dealt with for his whole career, but Minsk officials weren’t so sure.
The two-year contract also gives Meech some stability for his growing family. He and his wife recently welcomed their first daughter, and at Texas Stars’ exit interviews he said that his family was “the first thing he had to think about,” when finding a team for the 2015-16 season.
Meech was a veteran presence for Texas on a young team. He was often paired with Julius Honka and was a mentor to the 19-year-old first-round pick.
His departure could assure Maxime Fortunus is back in Texas next season. The Stars will have a young blue line (Honka, Ludwig Bystrom, Esa Lindell, and Mattias Backman) next season, and Texas general manager Scott White will likely want them to learn under an AHL veteran’s tutelage.