DALLAS -- Goaltender Marty Turco's time with the Dallas Stars is over.
General manager Joe Nieuwendyk says the Stars will not re-sign Turco, who just completed his ninth season with the team.
Nieuwendyk says he feels it's time to go "in a different direction."
When asked if there there were any circumstances under which he would be re-signed:
"I don't think so. I know we've danced around the issue with Marty and I think he clearly understands the situation that we're moving forward with Kari. I am sure Marty will test the waters at free agency. I first of all want to thank Marty for ten years of great service here. He's a friend and he's been a terrific competitor and a fan favorite here for a number of years. He has a lot to be proud of. These great fans that we have showed him the love the other night in our last home game and I thought that was terrific. I just felt it was time we went in a different direction."
It's been a while since the Stars had a change in goal. Turco took over for Ed Belfour, who won a Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999 and helped get them back to the Cup Finals in 2000. Many other teams have tried to find a goalie while the Stars have had two since the mid 1990s. That's pretty amazing.
Turco sure had a great career in Dallas. He was a fan favorite and someone that will be missed. But this is part of Nieuwendyk's plan to look toward the future and begin to create a foundation for future playoff success. To do that, it means not only making changes on the ice, but allowing younger players to seize the dressing room. Turco is a huge presence in there, as you would expect. He's a veteran with skins on the wall and someone that casts a large shadow. Maybe now, others will step out of that shadow and not be afraid of the spotlight. That includes Lehtonen, but it also means players like Stephane Robidas, Tom Wandell, Jamie Benn, Steve Ott and others could fill the void.
On a personal note, I really enjoyed talking with Turco and watching him play. His style wasn't orthodox, but when he was in a zone, he was really special. That 2002-03 season was amazing as Turco had a 1.72 GAA, setting an NHL record that still has not been broken*. And he was fun to have around the team. He can talk about a variety of topics and has a great sense of humor.
*Kipursoff didn't play a full season so I guess it doesn't count
I am really surprised and disappointed at the fact that as the big time Stars fans you people are that no one has any sympathy for the guy who rewrote all the Stars goaltending record books that will probably never be broken and a guy who gave us 10 glorious years minus a stanley cup. Turco yes was a little inconsistent this year but the last two years as a Stars fan myself haven't been great years and as a goalie myself its not hard to blame Turco for the simple fact that he didn't get great defensive help in front of him and we all know defense wins games not just the goalie game in and game out. So if everyone wants to blame Turco for the last woeful two years in Dallas so be it but as far as i'm concerned the guy isn't getting the appreciation he deserves for all the other great things he has done in Dallas. If Joe Nieuwendyk thinks that Kari Lehtonen is the answer he is gonna be very mistaken. He hasn't had one healthy year yet and looks about as trust worthy as Rick Dipietro has for the Islanders. Good luck Marty Turco your brilliance and puck handling skills are gonna be missed and I hope someone like Philly, Chicago, or Washington does pick you up and you have as many great years ahead of you as you can and you win the Stanley Cup that you deserve!!
At the beginning of this season I was one of a few around here who was convinced that last year was an aberration for Turco. I was convinced he would have a great year this year. But it was made clear pretty early on that last year was not an aberration. Yes his play as a whole was better than 08-09, however, his ability to let in the softest goals at the absolute worst times, or puck handling fumbles directly resulting in too many open net goals finally made me admit to myself that Turco was past his prime and this team needed someone stronger in net. Not one of the fans on this board has claimed the defense is strong, it is a clear weakness, but Turco certainly didn't do them any favors in the bailout department. Turco has always been an athletic rather than a positional goalie, and you are deluding yourself if you don't think that takes a toll on the body, or that his play won't suffer with age.
I have become jaded and resentful of his presence on the Stars. But you have a point, Turco played many fantastic seasons for Dallas, set franchise and league records, caused rule changes with the way he handled the puck, and seems to be about as nice a guy as you could ever meet. There were times past when he carried the Stars, there were times he got a shutout and still lost. But the fact still remains I'm glad there is a new era in goaltending in Dallas because at this point the unknown is certainly much more appealing than the known.
I am really surprised and disappointed at the fact that as the big time Stars fans you people are that no one has any sympathy for the guy who rewrote all the Stars goaltending record books that will probably never be broken and a guy who gave us 10 glorious years minus a stanley cup
Since Turco became starter: 3 series wins.
Before Turco: 12 series wins.
He was a great part of our team for many a years. He can have all the records he wants. But in the end, it's all about winning a Cup. And he didn't even come to bringing that here.
Blame the defense all you want the past 2 years (or lack there of), but he definitely had a part in our missing of the playoffs (especially last season).
I really honestly thought that as soon as Alex Auld started to come on somewhat strong in net that Turco finally started to find somewhat of a groove but apparently it was too little too late as the Stars were obviously shopping for a different goaltending situation which resulted in Kari Lehtonen. But you are right about the fact that he no longer looked strong in the net as he could and should have been, sports are unfair in the way that as soon as you faulter you are shipped out for somebody who won't. I hope as a Stars fan that Lehtonen does pan out because if not we lost a real good defensive prospect in Vishnevsky and that Turco finds a new respectable team and he finds his game again.
I see a lot more anger directed at Niskanen or Daley or Skrastins.
Personally? Turco's not been there to bail out the easy mistakes.
Lots of things led to Turco's exit here...
Mainly the loss of Zubov and Norstrom and the over exposure of numerous players.
At one point I thought I'd be more than willing to offer Turco a short, small contract... but I'd rather spend that money on a UFA D-man to at least eat 21 minutes a night that our current D-corps doesn't have to play.
I've said it before and I still believe it - Turco is disproportionally a product of his defense because of his style of play. He's much better at making a few very difficult saves instead of several ordinary ones. That was perfect behind the good Stars defenses of the past and it magnified how loathsome this particular group was for the past two years.
Like Tippett, I don't think he was helping solve the problem, so I'm not unhappy to see him go from a what-can-you-do-for-me perspective. But like with the coaching change, this alone will not solve the problems that ail this team. That will take an overhauling of the defense.
Obviously this is no great surprise and the time has come for this change, but let's tap the brakes on the celebration just a bit, gentlemen.
As that article spells out, this franchise has had 3 starting goalies in its existence and all 3 were at least "good." Kings and Flyers fans have been waiting siiiince ... the 70's for an elite starter? The Kings just now may have gotten one, but the Flyers are still searching.
Simple law of averages -- to say nothing of our shoddy defense -- suggests we are overdue for some **** goaltending, and while we're all optimistic about Kari Lehtonen going forward, he's far from a sure thing.
My personal favorite Marty Turco moment was the '07 series against Vancouver. It was another first round loss, but Turks and our defense held down the fort as long as possible despite us having an offensive arsenal that made the Vatican Swiss Guards look like the US Air Force. Three shutouts in the losing effort. Damn.
He is the backup on my All-Time Fantasy Dallas Stars teams, but he's every bit as talented as the guy ahead of him. Shame Turks didn't get to play behind Ludwig and Hatcher and Carbonneau. He will be missed.
Hey hopefully you guys don't end up with Tim Thomas. Well, on the other hand the Stars are in the same division as the Kings. Turco gave you some years...it appears time to move on. Maybe Quick will be available!!!
Turco has always been an athletic rather than a positional goalie, and you are deluding yourself if you don't think that takes a toll on the body, or that his play won't suffer with age.
I always thought this, not to mention Turco was already older than many goalies breaking into the league when he took over from Belfour after going the college route, and he's playing in a city where his team is by far and away the most-travelled team in the National Hockey League.
I'd think if he signs with a team in the Eastern Conference with a better travel schedule and a bit more solid blue line, he could make people think he's back to form next year and I wouldn't be surprised if that's where he's looking.
As for the Stars, Lehtonen looked decent in the time he's been here, but I was really hoping they'd get a Turco trade done before the deadline. People say the market was dead, but I wonder if after he had that good run before the Olympics, Nieuwendyk overestimated his value and quashed any deal. It's too bad they lost Alex Auld in the process — he'd be a good No. 2 and mentor for Lehtonen, but ultimately that's the way it goes.