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Stars getting Younger by the Day

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

December 2, 2003

By J. Douglas Foster

They say adversity makes you stronger.

Right now it's making the Stars younger.

For the second time in as many days, the Stars were forced to put a veteran on the injured reserve list Tuesday, at the same time calling up a youngster who has never played an NHL game to vill that roster void.

On Monday, it was Philippe Boucher headed to IR after surgery to repair his fractured orbital bone on Saturday. His replacement, young defenseman Jeff MacMillan made it to town Tuesday morning. At the same time, the Stars were placing center Pierre Turgeon on injured reserve retroactive to last Friday with a hip strain, which he suffered during a 2-0 victory against New Jersey.

In his absence, the Stars recalled Gavin Morgan, who was on loan to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League from the Stars.

Morgan, who signed as a free agent with the Stars back in 2001, has played in 23 games with Hershey this season, posting five goals and five assists for 10 points with 65 penalty minutes. Among team leaders, he is first in penalty minutes and is tied for first in power play goals (2). The 5-11, 190-pound center has played the past three seasons with the Utah Grizzlies (AHL). He had his best offensive season with Utah in 2002-03, recording 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points with 244 penalty minutes in 73 games.

He's known as a feisty player, despite his relative lack of size (5-foot-11, 191 pounds).

"He's a fourth-line center who plays with a ton of grit," Stars head coach Dave Tippett said. "Lots of grit and energy."

Turgeon, who missed Sunday's 2-1 loss to Los Angeles with the hip strain, could return as soon as the weekend since the Stars were able to make his injured reserve status retroactive to last Friday. Tippett said he could possibly skate with his teammates during Wednesday's practice in Dallas before the team flies to Los Angeles.

There was more injury news Tuesday as Jason Arnott missed practice with a slight groin pull. Tippett said he is day-to-day, and that he would be questionable for Thursday's game at Staples Center.

The good news, however, was the Mike Modano skated after receiving a nose laceration and an abrasion on the eye Sunday after taking a high stick to the face. Modano said he will play Thursday, and that after one night of blurred vision, the clear sight returned to his eye.

That's great news for the Stars as they prepare for a four-game road trip, all against divisional foes.

"Any way you want to cut it," Tippett said, "it's a critical week for us."


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