TAMPA, Fla. — Mason Marchment will return to the site of his breakout season when the Dallas Stars visit the Panthers on Thursday night.
The 27-year-old forward transformed from an AHLer to a bona fide NHL scoring option during his time in Florida before signing a four-year contract with Dallas worth $4.5 million annually. Last season, Marchment had 47 points in 54 games despite averaging just 14:07 of ice time per game, including limited action on the power play.
“I’m excited,” Marchment said. “It’ll be fun to get back out there and play against the old boys. I really enjoyed my time there, and good group of people, great staff. Definitely people I’ll have friendships with for life. It’s just good to go back and see them.”
The Panthers acquired Marchment in February 2020 from Toronto for Denis Malgin, a fringe NHL player that subsequently played in Switzerland and is now in and out of the Maple Leafs lineup. Marchment didn’t travel with the Panthers to the Toronto bubble for the 2020 playoffs. He only posted 10 points in 33 games during the shortened 2020-21 season.
Last season, he formed an effective third line with Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart. With those three players on the ice at 5 on 5, the Panthers outscored their opposition 22-7.
“It was definitely big,” Marchment said of his role in Florida. “They gave me a really big opportunity there, and [was] able to open up my game a little bit instead of kind of just playing shutdown [roles]. Thankful for that.”
Stars coach Pete DeBoer added: “There’s not many guys like that. I think his career path is really, really unique. We’re the benefactor of that because we’re getting him at the right time.”
Now, in Dallas, Marchment is a fixture in the top six playing with Tyler Seguin. He is on the second power play unit, and has played in both of the Stars’ overtime games this season.
DeBoer has known Marchment for years due to his relationship with his father, Bryan, who was a scout for San Jose. Bryan died this summer, and last week, the Sharks and Stars honored him by wearing helmet decals and lapel pins that read “Mush 27.” Both Bryan and Mason’s nickname is Mush.
“Obviously, that team and this area holds a special place for him,” DeBoer said. “You can see he was excited coming on this trip. I think with everything last week, the San Jose game and honoring his dad and all that, I think he needed to get on the road and hopefully go back here where he’s done a lot of good things.”
Marchment scored during Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Lightning, tipping a Jason Robertson shot while on the power play. He entered the night with just one goal in his previous 13 games. He now has five goals and four assists in 16 games.