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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stars Add Michael Ryder, Sheldon Souray, Jake Dowell

The Dallas Stars announced on the first day of free agency that they have signed right wing Michael Ryder to a two-year contract worth $7 million and defenseman Sheldon Souray and center Jake Dowell to one-year contracts worth $1.65 million and $800,000, respectively. Ryder's deal will pay him $3.5 million per season, while Souray was signed as an unrestricted free agent after the Edmonton Oilers bought out the final year of his contract. In 79 games last season with the Boston Bruins, Ryder had 18 goals and 23 assists for 41 points. He helped the Bruins win their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history this past June. In 40 games last season with Hershey of the AHL, Souray had four goals and 15 assists for 19 points and 85 penalty minutes. He hasn't played in the NHL since the 2009-10 season with the Edmonton Oilers. Dowell had six goals and 15 assists for 21 points in 79 games with the Chicago Blackhawks last season. These aren't bad signings for the Stars, as all three players will bring plenty of depth to the team. Ryder will bring some goal-scoring ability to the forward lines, as well as lots of skill to the power play despite being woefully inconsistent in his scoring. Perhaps being reunited with Mike Ribeiro, whom he played with in Montreal from 2003 to 2006, will help him regain some of the scoring touch he had early in his career. Souray will bring a great shot, plenty of leadership skills, some grit, as well as lots of offensive skill to the blueline and power play. However, he is extremely prone to injury, which has effected his skills at the NHL level at times. The Stars were wise to sign him to a short-term, inexpensive contract in case he should struggle next season. Look for him to have a bounce-back season in 2011-12 to prove to the rest of the league he still has the ability to play in the NHL. Dowell will bring plenty of energy, grit, and defensive skill to the checking lines in Dallas.

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