When the Dallas Stars called Adam Pardy on the first day of free agency they weren’t offering just a contract, they were offering Pardy a chance to reunite with coach Glen Gulutzan as well. Pardy couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“I know him, I know what kind of guy he is and we had a great relationship,” Pardy said of Gulutzan during a conference call with Dallas media on Thursday. “When they made an offer, I jumped at it.”
Pardy played for Gulutzan in 2005-06 with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. It was Pardy’s first season as a pro and he remembers his time with Gulutzan well.
“He believes that you’ve got to be happy coming to the rink every day.” said Pardy. “You can’t worry about the stress of everything. If you lose a bad game you’ve got to wake up the next day and play again. If you don’t have to play again then find a way to get over it and you’ve got to get over it really quick. He believes in that. He believes in having fun, playing an exciting game and playing hard. He expects a lot, but he expects everyone to have fun doing it. It’s always good when you have a coach and a leader like that.”
Gulutzan’s familiarity with Pardy played a role in the Stars pursuing the defenseman, who has played his entire pro career with the Calgary Flames organization.
“We talked to Gully about Adam Pardy,” said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. “Pardy has been on our radar for quite some time. We see him as an up and coming player, with the arrow pointing up.”
The Stars signed Pardy, who made $700,000 last season, to a deal that will pay him $2 million per season over the next two years. The contract is a reflection of the potential the Stars see in Pardy and the confidence he'll live up to it. Pardy said the money wasn’t the only reason he signed with the Stars.
“I am looking at Dallas as a good fit for me with the players there and, as I said, the coach,” he said. “I’m very excited to be coming there, very excited to be working with this group. I hear it’s a great group to work with and there are a lot of younger guys, so it’s going to be fun. I can’t wait to get there.”
Pardy was limited to 30 games last season due to shoulder problems. He had surgery in February, but said he is just about ready to go.
“It’s feeling great,” Pardy said. “The surgery was back in February, so it’s been almost five months now. It’s feeling great. There hasn’t been an issue with it so far. Doctors said it would be six months, so give it another month and you’re technically cleared to play. I know I could play right now.”
The 27-year-old, a sixth round pick of the Flames in 2004, has good size (6-2, 220 pounds) and mobility. There’s nothing flashy about his game and he admits there are no gaudy offensive statistics on his résumé. He has 26 points (4 goals, 22 assists) in 147 career games.
“I am just going to try to be a two-way player. Defensively is the biggest thing, making sure I am taking care of my own end and then trying to make plays out of my zone,” he said. “I’ve been working on my skating the last couple years and it’s getting better. … That’s a big thing, trying to escape out of my own zone and create off the offense. I know I am not going to lead too many rushes, but if you can be a part of it and be a hard player to play against is what I need to bring.”
And Pardy should get a chance to play a bigger role in Dallas then he did in Calgary
“Playing penalty kill and playing more minutes against top two lines is where I want to be and where I am going to work to be with Dallas,” he said. “I want to be a part of this group that really blends in well, brings something that is very physical and is very hard to play against.”