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Stars sign veteran D Fortunus, send Oleksiak to minors

Dec 18, 2013, 1:46 PM EDT

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MaximeFortunus Getty Images

Shortly after Lindy Ruff said he needed to get his young defensemen up to speed, Dallas added some experience on the back end.

The Stars signed 30-year-old blueliner Maxime Fortunus to a one-year deal, the club announced on Monday. In a corresponding move, Dallas sent 20-year-old Jamie Oleksiak — the club’s first-round selection (14th overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft — down to AHL Texas.

Fortunus, a journeyman AHLer with eight games of NHL experience, was leading Texas in d-man scoring at the time of his signing with three goals and 16 points in 24 games. He was placed on waivers today and, assuming he clears, would be able to join the big-league club for tomorrow’s game against Vancouver, or Saturday’s against San Jose.

The Fortunus move is likely in response to Ruff’s comments following a 6-2 drubbing by Colorado earlier this week.

“Our defense were a step slow — they were a step slow on the coverage,” Ruff said postgame. “I’m going to work with them. They’ve got to play in big situations against big players and they’ve got to make those plays for us.

“We got some young defense that are playing in some bigger places. I’ve got to get them in a better spot.”

Dallas is currently without veteran blueliners Trevor Daley and Stephane Robidas, both sidelined by injury.

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