FRISCO -- This season hasn’t gone the way Adam Pardy was expecting. Pardy, who signed a two-year, $ 4 million contract with the Dallas Stars as a free agent in July, has been scratched more times than he has been in the lineup.
But he was in the lineup Thursday night against Calgary. It was his first game for the Stars in more than a month. In between there were 13 healthy scratches and a two-game conditioning stint in the American Hockey League.
“It’s been tough. It’s been a long year. I haven’t had a lot of games,” said Pardy. “It’s been frustrating in a sense. It’s been tough to get in the lineup, so it was nice to get out there and feel good on the ice and go make a step forward.”
Thursday’s game was Pardy’s 23rd of the season. He logged 15:58 of ice time, was a plus-one, had two hits and one blocked shot.
“I thought he came in and played a really good game. For not playing for a while and coming in, I think it was a good scenario for him to come in against his old team,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said after the game. “It kind of amped him up and it’s a good way to get your foot back in the lineup. That’s the Pardy that we’re accustomed to seeing. I hope he’s just going to keep moving from there.”
The 27-year-old Pardy, who has one assist and a minus-seven rating this season and has been scratched a total of 29 times, knows that he needs to keep moving forward.
“I know consistency is the key right now. Anyone can have one good game. Anyone can do that,” Pardy said. “It’s just a matter of making sure that (Saturday) night that I bring the same effort and the same composure, the same things I need to be effective.”
Pardy was in the lineup Thursday because the Stars traded Nicklas Grossman to Philadelphia and Sheldon Souray is still out with a foot injury. The Stars have six healthy defensemen, and that means opportunity is knocking for Pardy.
“It is an opportunity to solidify himself in this lineup,” said Gulutzan. “I thought he played very good (Thursday) night and he needs to build on that and keep going.”
And the opportunity isn’t lost on Pardy.
“It’s funny how this game changes, everything can change in the blink of an eye. Last week I was down there (in the AHL on conditioning assignment) and this week I am up here playing again, back in the lineup,” Pardy said. “The way it looks right now I am in there and it’s an opportunity to make up for a lost year I guess, to make up for lost time.”
Garbutt gets the call
With Jamie Benn out at the least the next two games with a cut on his leg, the Stars have called up forward Ryan Garbutt from the Texas Stars of the AHL.
The 26-year-old Garbutt, who has 16 goals and 17 assists in 50 games for Texas, was never drafted and started his pro career in the Central Hockey League.
“It’s pretty exciting. I got the call (Thursday) night at about 10 o’clock and it was pretty tough to fall asleep,” Garbutt said. “It seems like a long journey. It’s been a lot of hard work.”
*Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Jamie Benn will miss Saturday’s game at Phoenix and didn’t think Benn would be ready for Sunday’s game versus Nashville. Gulutzan said he is hopeful Benn can play Tuesday at Montreal.
*Benn was at the Stars practice facility in Frisco Friday, walking around on crutches. Benn said it took 13 stitches to close the cut, which he suffered during Thursday night’s game when Flames defenseman Mark Giordano’s skate caught him on the left leg.
“I just went to go hit the guy, he kept the puck in, I kind of fell and his skate cut the back of my leg. It was a little bit of a freak accident,” Benn said. “You just hope it’s not too bad. It was bleeding pretty good there right when it happened. I tried to hobble off pretty quick and the doctors did a good job of stitching me up.”