The Texas Stars have agreed to AHL contracts with forwards Greg Rallo and Derek Hulak, a source close to the team said, deals that solidify the team’s offensive depth for the 2015-16 season.
Rallo led Texas last season with 27 goals, and his 49 points — in 72 games — ranked fourth on the team. As a rookie, Hulak scored 21 goals and totaled 44 points last season.
“Overall, Texas was pretty happy with my year,” Hulak, 25, said at the end of the 2014-15 season. “Coming from where I was on the depth chart to where I finished, I was a little bit surprised … I was pretty fortunate that when there was an opening in the top-six (forwards), I was able to take advantage of it.”
The team is expected to formally announce the signings of Rallo and Hulak on Tuesday. Their signings will mean Texas’ top-five scorers from last season have been locked up for 2015-16. Travis Morin (63 points), Brendan Ranford (51), and Justin Dowling (50) have exisiting contracts with the Dallas Stars — Texas’ NHL parent club — but they are expected to play in the American Hockey League this season.
Rallo, who turns 34 before the start of the AHL season, could serve as Texas’ new captain after the team parted ways with Maxime Fortunus during the off-season.
Fortunus had been the Stars’ captain since the 2012-13 season. That title could be passed to Rallo, who was captain of the San Antonio Rampage during the 2013-14 season, or Morin, who wore the “C” for Texas when Fortunus was sidelined by injury last season.
The Texas Stars also are expected to announce the signing of defenseman Matt Mangene to a standard AHL contract for next season. Mangene appeared in 36 games for Texas last season, playing in a couple of those games as a forward when the team was hampered by injuries.
Texas continues to search for a backup goalie and a defenseman or two to replace veterans Derek Meech and Cameron Gaunce, who signed elsewhere this summer.