There was big news both on, and off the ice, for the Kansas City Mavericks Thursday afternoon.
The Mavericks and their American Hockey League affiliate Stockton Heat announced a pair of transactions and forward Mike McMurtry was named to the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic that will take place on Monday, Jan. 15 in Indianapolis.
Goalie Mason McDonald, sent to Stockton on Dec. 31, will be returning to Kansas City, while forward Darren Nowick will head to California to join the Heat. Nowick signed with Stockton during the offseason before being optioned to Kansas City during preseason camp.
The moves came ahead of a pair of ECHL Central Division home games this weekend. The Mavericks play host to the Kalamazoo Wings at 7:05 p.m. tonight and then host the Quad City Mallards at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
McDonald, 21, originally a second-round draft pick by the Flames, was called up to Stockton last Sunday following the Calgary’s trade of goalie Eddie Lack on Saturday. He has played in 17 games this season with Kansas City, posting a 3.22 goals-against average and an .892 save percentage.
Goaltender Tyler Parson, another second-round draft pick by the Flames, was called up by the Heat earlier this week. The Mavericks signed veteran Kent Patterson to help fill the void.
“Our goal is to help our young guys make the next step, and we’re happy that Mason was able to go up to Stockton,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said. “And we’re happy to have him back with the team. Kent did a nice job while Mason was in Stockton.”
Nowick, 26, is in his third season with the Mavericks and has totaled five goals and nine assists in 19 games. He was removed from the injured reserve list Wednesday.
The Mavericks signed Nowick out of Northern Michigan University toward the end of the 2015-16 season. Last year, he tallied 45 points on 21 goals and 24 assists in 57 games. He also skated for the team’s AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, in 13 games, scoring three goals and adding one assist.
McMurtry will play in the All-Star Classic that will air on NHL Network at noon, Jan. 15.
McMurtry, 25, leads the Mavericks and is 13th in the ECHL with 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists). He has three game-winning goals and five power play goals in 30 games.
He was assigned to the Mavericks by the Heat during preseason camp and has been a consistent contributor all season, at one point leading the Mavericks in all scoring categories including goals, assists, points, points per game, power-play goals and game-winning goals.
McMurtry joins former Mavericks Tyler Barnes (2015), Sam Povorozniouk (2017) and Kevin Tansey (2017) on the list of Kansas City’s ECHL All-Stars. This year’s game will feature a 3-on-3 format with players from each division facing off on the ice.