DALLAS STARS SIGN WATHIER, FORTUNUS, STAFFORD AND WILSON
Each Player To Receive Two-Way Contract
FRISCO, Tex. The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed left wing Francis Wathier
and defensemen Maxime Fortunus
and Garrett Stafford each to two-year, two-way contracts through the 2009-10 season. The Stars also inked free agent right wing Landon Wilson to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2008-09 campaign.
Wathier, 23, skated in 15 games with the Iowa Stars last season, recording two goals and three assists for five points with 17 penalty minutes. He missed 60 games during the 2007-08 season due to a shoulder injury, but served as an alternate captain for the club and was honored as Iowa¹s American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the Des Moines community.
The St. Isidore, Ontario, native was a member of the Idaho Steelheads club that won the 2007 ECHL Kelly Cup championship. He also skated in 57 games with Iowa in 2006-07, netting 14 goals and three assists for 17 points. He added four assists and 25 penalty minutes in 12 AHL Calder Cup Playoff games with Iowa in 2007.
Chosen by Dallas in the sixth round (No. 185 overall) in the 2003 Entry Draft, Wathier helped the Gatineau Olympiques to consecutive President¹s Cup titles as QMJHL champions in 2002-03 and 2003-04, and he participated in the Memorial Cup both of those seasons.
Fortunus, 24, skated in 65 games for the AHL Manitoba Moose last season, recording eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. He added an assist in six Calder Cup Playoff games with Manitoba this past spring.
A native of La Prairie, Quebec, Fortunus has been with Manitoba since
2005-06 and previously was a member of the Houston Aeros from 2003-05. In
238 career games at the AHL level, he has collected 13 goals and 43 assists for 56 points with 134 penalty minutes. In 33 career AHL Playoff games, he has registered six points (1 goal, 5 assists) and 24 PIM.
The 6-1, 190-pound defenseman excelled for Baie-Comeau in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 1999-2004, posting 148 points (40 goals, 108
assists) and 277 PIM in 285 games with the Drakkar. In 34 QMJHL playoff games, he notched 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) and 16 PIM.
Stafford, 28, skated in 69 games with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins during the 2007-08 season, collecting 44 points (11 goals, 33 assists) and 36 penalty minutes. He went scoreless in two NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, making his NHL debut on Feb. 23, 2008 vs. Vancouver.
The Los Angeles native had a stellar four-year career at the University of New Hampshire, earning 14 goals and 67 assists for 81 points in 134 games from 1999-2003. The 6-0, 195-pound defenseman was named to the Hockey East Second All-Star Team in 2002 and to the league¹s All-Tournament Team in 2003. He was then selected to the AHL All-Rookie Team and the AHL Second All-Star Team in 2004 while with Cleveland.
Wilson, 33, has played the last four seasons in Europe, including the
2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns with HC Lugano in the Swiss Elite League. In 30 games with Lugano last season, Wilson collected 20 points (13 goals, 7
assists) and 67 penalty minutes, and the previous season, he notched 31 points (20 goals, 11 assists) and 67 PIM.
Originally selected by Toronto in the first round (No. 19 overall) in the
1993 Entry Draft, Wilson has skated in 348 career NHL games with Colorado, Boston, Phoenix and Pittsburgh, recording 51 goals and 60 assists for 111 points with 331 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 13 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, earning a goal and an assist.
The 6-2, 215-pound right wing is the son of Stars¹ Associate Coach Rick Wilson, and like his father, attended the University of North Dakota. In 66 games with the Fighting Sioux in 1993-94 and 1994-95, Wilson posted 25 goals and 31 assists for 56 points with 288 penalty minutes.