Goaltender Marty Turco’s time with the Dallas Stars is over.
General manager Joe Nieuwendyk said Tuesday that the Stars will not re-sign Turco, a three-time all-star who just completed his ninth season with the team. “I just felt like it was time we went in a different direction,” said Nieuwendyk, a former teammate of Turco’s who became GM last summer. “I think he clearly understands the situation.” Kari Lehtonen, acquired from Atlanta in February, will go into next season as the team’s top goaltender.
The 34-year-old Turco just completed a US$22.8-million, four-year contract he signed in January 2006 that kept him from becoming a free agent at the end of that season. Turco holds the Stars franchise record with 509 games played as a goaltender, winning 262 games with a .911 save percentage and a 2.31 goals-against average. He had 40 shutouts.
In 2002-03, his first as the starting goalie, he set a modern NHL record with a 1.72 GAA, a mark that has since been broken.
Turco was 21-26 in the playoffs for the Stars, including four shutouts. Three of those shutouts came in one series, in the first round of the 2007 playoffs against Vancouver when he had a .952 save percentage. The Stars were still knocked out in seven games.
“I want to thank Marty for 10 years of service here,” Nieuwendyk said.
In 53 games this season, Turco posted a 22-20-11 record. He had a .913 save percentage and 2.72 GAA.
The 26-year-old Lehtonen, a native of Finland, was coming back from two back surgeries and had not played this season when acquired by the Stars. He appeared in 12 games for Dallas with a .911 save percentage and 2.81 GAA.
Lehtonen was the second overall pick by Atlanta in the 2002 draft.