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Barnes to Stay in Dallas

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars
Stu Barnes entered this off-season with the opportunity to test the free agent waters, but instead chose to sign a one-year, $900,000 contract with the organization that has become 'home' for him and his family over the last four years, the Dallas Stars.

"I am excited about signing this contract and it's been no secret that I enjoy playing here and being a part of this organization," said Barnes. "It was obviously a priority of mine to stay here and hopefully finish my career here. I've been lucky to play here in Dallas, surrounded by great people."

Barnes, 36, was one of three Dallas players to appear in all 82 games last season, posting 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points. The 5-11, 182-pound center appeared in his 1,000th career NHL game on Nov. 30 at Washington, and in the 2007 playoffs against Vancouver, tied for the team lead in points (4) and placed tied for second in assists (3).

"Stu has been here more than four years now and he's been a major player for our team, on and off the ice," said Dallas Stars General Manger Doug Armstrong. "He can play all three forward positions and he has contributed on whichever line he plays. He is a very valuable part of this team and provides several positive attributes, including leadership and commitment."

Since being acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on March 10, 2003, Barnes has registered 97 points (41 goals, 56 assists) in 250 games for the Stars. The native of Spruce Grove, Alberta, has also played in 29 playoff games with Dallas since that time, collecting four goals and seven assists for 11 points. He has high hopes that the future of the club is bright.

"We were a pretty good team last year and I think the fact that we ended up with 107 points was something to proud of," said Barnes. "We all know that a team's merits are gained in the playoffs though, so we are going to focus on improving and doing some more damage in the playoffs. The talent in this group, and the maturity of some of the younger players on our team, speaks volumes about the future here in Dallas."

Armstrong agrees that the future of the club can only benefit from Barnes' presence in the dressing room.

"Stu may not be the most vocal player in the room, but when he speaks, people listen," said Armstrong. "He has contributed to the growth of some of our younger players, who have learned a lot from his leadership and attention to detail. I thought the line of Stu, Jeff Halpern and Joel Lundqvist was probably our most productive in the playoffs, and that says a lot about Stu's ability to lead."

Barnes served as the Sabres' captain for over two seasons from 2001-03, and has played in two Stanley Cup Finals over his career (Florida, 1996; Buffalo, 1999). A 15-year NHL veteran with Winnipeg (1991-1994), Florida (1994-1997), Pittsburgh (1997-1999), Buffalo (1999-2003), and Dallas (2003-2007), Barnes has scored 249 goals and 325 assists for 574 points in 1,057 career NHL games. In his 107 career playoff games, Barnes has notched 28 goals and 31 assist for 59 points, including nine game-winning goals.

"We believe in his abilities to make us a better hockey team," said Armstrong, "and we are happy to have him back."

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