Stars Waive Kero and Comeau after Slow Start

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 04: Calgary Flames Defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4) is taken down by Dallas Stars Right Wing Blake Comeau (15) during the second period of an NHL game where the Calgary Flames hosted the Dallas Stars on November 4, 2021, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars have waived Tanner Kero and Blake Comeau after a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. The loss on Wednesday plummets the team record to 4-6-2, through 12 games. The disappointing record has caused management to threaten change through team meetings and talk with the media.

Kero has two points through seven games, while Comeau has one point through six games. The Stars held a player’s only meeting after the game. Coach Rick Bowness responded to reporters asking about the team meeting during the post-game press conference before promptly walking away after 30 seconds.

“It’s players only. So, we’ll fix it. I know exactly what’s wrong. We’ll fix it. See you tomorrow,” he said.

The Stars face the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.

Kero and Comeau

Tanner Kero struggled to produce this season, with only two points in seven games. His production through seven games hasn’t been enough to sustain a roster spot. Last year, Kero posted 10 points in 39 games with solid ice time. He won a spot on the roster in the preseason, outplaying the likes of Nick Caamano, Ty Dellandrea, and Riley Damiani. Kero falls into the same grouping as Caamano and Dellandrea, as a fringe NHL-er.

Blake Comeau was the bigger disappointment of the two. He played well last year in extra ice time due to Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov being injured. He had 14 points through 41 games, but his presence is felt most on the boards. Comeau led all Stars forwards in hits with 106 last season.

Comeau looked to be a perfect fit for a fourth line headed by Radek Faksa and Luke Glendening. Faksa centered the line last year with Comeau that included Andrew Cogliano. Glendening replaced Cogliano this past offseason.

Any team in the NHL can claim both players. If they clear waivers, they will be assigned to Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars.

Call-Ups

The Stars can now fill two NHL roster spots with players from the AHL team. Caamano and Dellandrea played with the team last year, hoping to break out and earn a role in the NHL. While they received praise from their coaches, both players did not live up to expectations. Dellandrea had five points through 26 games in 2020-21, while Caamano had one point over 24 games.

Caamano posted 41 hits over those 24 games, on par with Comeau as a big heavy-hitting winger. Dellandrea was getting around 15 minutes of ice time through his first nine games last season. When he didn’t produce, his role was reduced before being demoted back to the AHL.

Damiani is a dark horse to take one of these spots, as he has no experience in the NHL. He won AHL rookie of the year honors last year, posting 36 points in 36 games. Stars’ director of player personnel Rich Peverley only had compliments for the 21-year-old.

“With Riley, he was always good defensively, but what I saw those last two years in Kitchener was how good he was on the power play,” Peverley said. “He makes plays crisp on the tape, and his shot from distance on the power play has gotten better. And his polish around the net – he does these shootout moves, and he finds a way to get the puck up – he’s got a lot of skill. It’s something he has worked at, and he’s vastly improved.”

Damiani was a fifth-round pick for the Stars in the 2018 NHL draft.

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